Marques Johnson: LaVar Ball Is His Sons’ Biggest Promoter

LaVar Ball is confident in his sons’ basketball ability. Lonzo Ball has been UCLA’s best player, LiAngelo Ball is a UCLA commit, and LaMelo Ball, a high school sophomore, recently scored 92 points in a single game.

But why is LaVar tearing down Steph Curry and saying that the Warriors would be better with Lonzo?

“I look at it a little differently,” former UCLA great Marques Johnson told Damon Amendolara, who was filling in as host of CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “He’s a dad. I’ve known him and watched him for years. Look, he and his wife, Tina, they coached their boys in AAU. He’s a dad with supreme confidence in his sons, and he is the biggest promoter for these guys, and he’s going to continue to promote.”

 

And his sons, so far, continue to back up what he’s saying.

“The old saying (is) it’s not bragging if you can do it,” Johnson said. “And the fact that Lonzo has come in as a freshman – which I didn’t know (if he could). The jury was out. I didn’t know if he’d be able to come in right away and dominate collegiate basketball . . . but (he and his brothers) are different type of dudes, and the dad is just their biggest promoter.”

Lonzo Ball is the most promising of the brothers, at least so far. He is averaging 15.4 points, 7.6 assists and 6.1 rebounds for No. 5 UCLA (24-3).

Still, one must wonder if LaVar is putting too much pressure on Lonzo by saying he’s better than Curry.

“You know how it is in sports,” Johnson said. “Eventually, it’ll be up to Lonzo and the other two brothers to prove themselves against the increased level of competition that they’re going to face. If Lonzo can cut it, then it’s all good. If he doesn’t, we’ll know pretty much right away as a professional player on the next level. Same thing with the two younger players on the collegiate level. I thought maybe Lonzo might take a year or two to get adjusted to the collegiate game, but this kid hit the ground running. He reminds me more of a Jason Kidd-type. Lonzo reminds me a lot of him.

“So again, I understand what you’re saying about LaVar,” Johnson continued. “But again, to me, it’s not bragging if you can back it up, and these kids have more than backed it up so far, and eventually if the game becomes too much for them and dad’s hyperbole becomes too much, we’ll see. We’ll see. It’ll prove itself out. But as of now, dad is just going to continue to be their biggest promoter. If you know LaVar, you know you’re not going to shut him up. He’s going to keep speaking his mind and showing complete and supreme confidence in his kids. There’s something about that that is okay with me as a dad.”

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