Lakers great Magic Johnson picks successor in Lonzo Ball


LaVar Ball raised his family in Chino Hills, a Los Angeles suburb 35 miles east of Staples Center. That is what Lavar was going for because he also promoted his son every chance he would get.

With the second overall pick of the NBA Draft, the Lakers selected 19-year-old local standout Lonzo Ball of UCLA, a player capable of reviving the fast-paced "Showtime" style that Johnson made famous.

Lavar Ball has made no secret of the fact that he wanted his son to play in the bright lights of Los Angeles.

He also runs a clothing website which sells trainers with his son's branding for $495 (£389).

With the rest of the top 10 relatively bereft of drama, Lonzo winding up with the Lakers was arguably the biggest draft-specific story of the night. If the Lakers plan on stretching their cap space to sign a few blockbuster free agents, their ability to complement those players with young, low-priced talent is critical. Some Laker fans are very concerned about how much of a distraction that Lavar Ball will be to the team. Lonzo to the Lakers.

The Lakers added Lonzo Ball out of UCLA, Kyle Kuzma out of Utah, Josh Hart from Villanova and Thomas Bryant from Indiana.

LaVar Ball - a former player for American football team the London Monarchs - is Lonzo's father and has been his main representative and leading cheerleader. However, these reports turned out to be completely false. Magic and Pelinka firmly believe the Lakers' famous brand and young core will be attractive to a free-agent class likely to include Paul George, LeBron James and other proven veterans.

He averaged 23 points per game, along with more than five rebounds and five assists. Those two were the seventh and eighth Hoosiers players selected in the past 15 years and the first since Noah Vonleh went No. 9 overall in 2014. The Ball family had them hidden "right under the table" and Lonzo "had a feeling" he was about to be next selection. Only time will tell.

Ball was named the Pac-12's freshman of the year, beating out No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz from Washington.