It’s safe to say Lonzo Ball and his father have a close relationship. The UCLA guard poked fun at his dad in a Father’s Day-themed FootLocker commercial that debuted Sunday. In jest, Ball trolled father LaVar Ball during the commercial regarding his father’s braggadocio and obsession with marketing the family name. But Ball also wanted to make it clear he has nothing but love and respect for his father.
In an essay the Player’s Tribune put out Friday, Ball wrote about how instrumental his father has been in his development as a basketball player and his successes thus far. He also wanted to clear up any misconceptions the public has regarding his sometimes-outspoken dad.
“Over the past few months, you’ve talked a lot about me — maybe more than some people cared for. So, with Father’s Day coming up I thought that writing this would be a good way for me to actually say a few things about you," Ball wrote. "The real you — not the person everyone has seen on TV. Just, my dad.
"One of the things I admire most about you is that you don’t really care what other people think. People can have whatever opinions they want about who you are as a person, but they’ll never have all the facts. They’ll never know you like I do," Ball said.
Ball’s father is known to be very outspoken, exuding nothing but confidence regarding his son’s abilities on the basketball court. Ball went on EPSN's "First Take" in May and posited his son might be better than the Golden State Warriors champion Steph Curry. Some critics considered this untrue since Curry is a decorated NBA star while Ball is just finishing up his stint in college basketball.
Ball said if Curry changed places with his son, his team, the Bruins would be inferior and Curry’s Warriors would improve.
“UCLA wouldn’t be where they['re] at. Steph Curry’s gonna shoot them out [of] the game. He ain’t rebounding and passing that ball. … Soon as they double him up, he’s going to lose that ball — he’s too little. Now you put Lonzo on [the Warriors] with all those athletics, runnin’ and gunnin’ — guess what?” Ball said on "First Take."
Father’s Day is the perfect time for children to let their fathers know how they feel about them. It is looked at as a holiday to observe and commemorate all fathers for their love and influence. Ball did just that.
“The confidence that you have in me makes me feel so strong. It’s helped me to never back down from a challenge and to stay true to myself. I’m going to be taking this next step to the NBA knowing that I’m ready. And no matter what’s thrown at me, I know you’re always going to have my back.”
Happy Father’s Day.