LaVar Ball said he helped to build his sons into top players by placing them on the worst teams with the worst players. He said he figured that if Lonzo Ball could win with marginal players, he could win with good ones. Playing with those of lesser talent taught Lonzo leadership and accepting responsibility, LaVar said. When you lose, it’s your fault. When you win, it’s because of your teammates.

“If you can win with people that can’t play, that makes you special,” LaVar said. “Anybody can win when they’ve got all the best players. So that kind of made him [better] for whatever situation he was in, to always be the underdog. Give me whatever you want to give me; I’m going to do my best to help this team win.”

When asked about his unselfish style, Lonzo said it was his nature. “If you’re a point guard you should get your teammates involved before you,” he said. “That’s how I’ve been playing my whole life. It’s been a pretty smooth transition [to college]. Guys are a little bit bigger, a little bit stronger, but the basketball’s the same.”

LaVar Ball said because he was able to raise his sons comfortably in an affluent Los Angeles suburb, Lonzo has no burden to have to help support his family. He can concentrate on playing.

“I can see it now,” LaVar said. “Come on, Lonzo, I need you to make some money so I can move out of Chino Hills because this swimming pool and these hills are killing me. There’s no pressure. If what I’m saying makes a team not draft Lonzo, guess what? He ain’t supposed to be there anyway.”