Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball has already suffered at the hands of one inspired former SEC player. Now, he’ll face one of the NBA’s elite point guards who seems just as motivated.
That’s life when you’re the son of a bombastic father like LaVar Ball.
Comments from the elder Ball has sparked Wizards guard John Wall, who is clearly amped for a nationally televised matchup against his son.
“Nah, no mercy,” Wall said, according to the Washington Post. “Certain matchups you really get up for. Like when you play Steph [Curry], you definitely want to have a good game. I’m playing against [Ball]. [Wizards center Marcin Gortat] said what he said about me. I didn’t say anything. His dad has been talking. … That makes me want to go out there and lead my team and play the best I can play.”
Wall’s comments were in response to a vow made by LaVar.
“Washington coming in here Wednesday? They better beware,” Ball said. “Because Lonzo ain’t losing again. Not in the same week.”
Three games into his pro career, the former UCLA star and No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft has had a mixed bag of results.
Last Friday, former Arkansas guard Patrick Beverley turned Ball’s debut into a disaster, holding him to just 3 points on 1-for-6 shooting in a blowout loss to the Clippers. Beverley brought an element of physicality that the slender Ball clearly wasn’t ready for.
After the game, Beverley admitted that LaVar provided a little extra incentive for the NBA All-Defensive First Teamer’s performance.
Ball did bounce back by coming just one assist shy of a triple-double the very next night and filled up the stat sheet in his next outing as well. However, Ball has shot just 34.8 percent from the field and 29.4 percent from 3-point range.
On Monday, Gortat responded to LaVar’s statement by saying Wall would “torture” Ball for 48 minutes, prompting several Lakers to come to Ball’s defense.
Wednesday night’s game between the Wizards and Lakers is scheduled to tip off at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, and it will bring way more buzz than a typical NBA regular season game.