Lonzo Ball’s first game against the Celtics wasn’t pretty.
On the court, the second-overall pick scored nine points on 4-of-15 shots, finished with six assists but couldn’t find his rhythm when his team need it most; towards the end of the fourth quarter. Off the court, Celtics fans let him have it — they rained down boos every chance they could throughout the night.
Lonzo Ball’s father, LaVar Ball has a lot to do with that. His strong persona has influenced his son’s reputation in areas across the country and Wednesday night at TD Garden was no different. Ball was heavily booed during his player introduction and nearly every time he touched the ball.
Although LaVar has taken flack for his way of expressing his love and appreciation towards his son, All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving doesn’t see anything wrong with a father cheering for his kid from the sidelines.
“He’s a supportive father, man,” Irving said in the locker room after the game. “Some guys are in the front line speaking for their kids, some parents are on the back line. It’s just like the loud parent at the graduation, clapping unbelievably loud. You know we all have our different styles of parents. I think everybody just needs to appreciate their own.
“He’s in the NBA, he’s living out the dream. Hopefully his family is living out the dream as well,” Irving said. “Coming into this league, this is all created by a lot of outside influence. When I get out on the floor, all of that goes out the window. He’s just another competitor I’m trying to get a win on and I’m glad we came out with the win. Going against him was fun tonight.”
Irving then went on to compliment the young guard on his transitional offense, decision-making and how well he’s able to facilitate his team.
“He’s 6-6, unbelievable in transition,” Irving said about Ball. “Understanding that he wants to get his teammates involved. Can you really put a position on him — particularly right now? I don’t know. But he does a great job of running that team. And when he started to get comfortable and the pace started to pick up, that’s where he starts to flourish: when it’s going up and down and he’s gotta make quick decisions. And then defensively he’s going to be challenged every single night. So there are signs that you can see he wants to go out there and compete. So that’s something that you want to see out of a highly-touted rookie such as Lonzo is that just to go out there and play with the best of them.”
Irving’s teammate, Marcus Morris, also had a few words to say to Ball and about him in the locker room. Morris spoke to Ball moments after the game and expressed his support.
“I told Lonzo at the end of the game, now I’m kind of rooting him on,” Morris said. “Because he’s a good kid. It’s just his dad, his dad has a big mouth. I mean, everybody knows that. It’s not a bad thing. If I had my dad, I wish he would be like that, too. Because it’s always like, if anybody loves you, it’s going to be your father and he’s always going to show tough love. So he’s pretty good. His dad might think he’s better — which he should.”
Full article @ Kyrie Irving is in Lonzo Ball’s corner
Source: GreenStreet Blog