LaMelo Ball was drafted third overall by the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday, and it didn’t take long for people to start remembering what the point guard’s father said about the team’s owner just a few years ago.
“Back in my heyday, I would kill Michael Jordan one-on-one,” LaVar Ball said in 2017, when LaMelo was a high school sophomore and his older brother Lonzo was starring at UCLA.
At the time, that boast triggered much internet mockery, talk-show opinions and investigations into Ball’s basketball career. It also drew a shot back from Jordan himself, who said — correctly, in all likelihood — he didn’t think Ball could beat him if he were one-legged.
Now that Ball is playing for Jordan’s own team, the topic was unavoidable, especially after LaVar repeated his challenge toward the Hall of Famer at his son’s draft party.
LaMelo Ball laughs off LaVar’s Michael Jordan challenge
Speaking with reporters at his introductory news conference on Friday, Ball was asked about if he’d like to see the one-on-one matchup happen and who he’s taking.
Wisely, Ball avoided choosing a side.
LaMelo Ball’s dad once said he would “kill” Michael Jordan in a game of 1-on-1. I asked LaMelo, now a Charlotte Hornet, if he’d like to see that happen — and how that might turn out. pic.twitter.com/tIsTM9CmSB
— Steve Reed (@SteveReedAP) November 20, 2020
“I don’t think it’s going to happen and I think we know how it would turn out, to be honest,” Ball said, smiling. “Well, I mean it is my pops and my boss, so I’m on both sides now.”
Mark down “diplomacy” as another strength on Ball’s scouting report.
Of course, it’s not hard to guess what widely known outcome Ball is alluding to. In one corner is a six-time NBA champion who is quite possibly the most competitive person alive and can apparently still still beat his own players in one-on-one. In the other is, well, LaVar Ball.
LaVar Ball’s children have long laughed off their dad’s habit of ridiculous claims, and we can probably expect the same to continue has Ball’s career begins in Charlotte.
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