LaVar Ball Slams Lakers For Trading Lonzo: ‘He Got Off The Boat Before The Thing Exploded’

Lavar Ball appears at a basketball event.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Getty Images

LaVar Ball is quite clearly not a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers trading his son.

The dad of Lonzo Ball — and one of basketball’s most outspoken parents ever — shared his thoughts on the blockbuster trade that sent Anthony Davis to the Lakers and a huge package of draft picks and young players to the New Orleans Pelicans, including his son. In a video interview posted on Saturday via Twitter, LaVar Ball said it was a move the Lakers would come to regret.

“‘I guarantee… it will be the worst move the Lakers ever did in their life and they will never win another championship. Guarantee it,” he said.

It is not clear how the Lakers will fare now that Anthony Davis has joined LeBron James, but the move could be a boon to Lonzo professionally. The Pelicans now appear to have a bright future with a young core of players that includes Lonzo and presumed first overall draft pick Zion Williamson.

LaVar Ball continued slamming the Lakers, saying that the team’s hopes were “crashing down” and that his son “got off the boat before the thing exploded.” The elder Ball also put in a pitch for his other NBA-aspiring sons.

“I gave them a chance. You can rewind it and go back,” he said. “I said if you get the three Ball brothers, you can survive this. You let him go, oh, it’s going to be a cold day in hell. Trust and believe that.”

While many believe that Lonzo Ball could have a bright future ahead of him in the NBA, LaVar’s other sons do not have such a clear path to the NBA. LiAngelo Ball played for a year in Lithuania before joining the Los Angeles Ballers of the Junior Basketball Association. He had aspired to play in the NBA’s developmental G-League but went undrafted and found no NBA teams with serious interest. LaMelo Ball is seen as a five-star high school recruit, but eligibility questions kept him from signing on to a major college basketball program.

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The trade sending Lonzo Ball to the New Orleans Pelicans could also have an effect on LaVar Ball’s company, Big Baller Brand. The company is based out of the family’s current hometown of Chino Hills, California, and the proximity to Los Angeles helped to give greater exposure. While Lonzo may be moving into a better situation with the New Orleans Pelicans, he is also going to a significantly smaller market where the opportunities for marketing the brand would likely be fewer.