Rob Pelinka on potential of LaVar and Lonzo Ball in LA: “We’re drafting the player”

The Los Angeles Lakers kept the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft on Tuesday, increasing speculation that the team will be drafting Lonzo Ball with its selection. Ball, who played for UCLA last season, is a dynamic point guard widely viewed as the second-best player in the draft. But the 19-year-old has often been overshadowed by his outspoken father, LaVar.

LaVar Ball has been extremely vocal about his desire for Lonzo to be a Laker. Now, that seems like the probable course of action, leaving many to speculate about the effects of LaVar on the Lakers’ decision-making.

The elder Ball has not been shy in his media tours and has often been controversial. From his $495 signature shoes for Lonzo to claims of sexism against sports talk show host Kristin Leahy, Ball’s antics in the media could be enough to scare off many suitors.

Rob Pelinka, however, is not one of them. The Los Angeles Lakers general manager appeared on ESPN LA 710 on Thursday and shut off all talk about LaVar having an impact on the Lakers’ choice (h/t Rob Lopez of Def Pen Hoops).

This shouldn’t be a surprise. If the Lakers feel strongly about Lonzo Ball (and it appears as though they do), then they have to trust that their culture will reign LaVar in and keep him from impacting the team in any way. At the end of the day, Lonzo will be the one stepping on the court and that’s all that matters.

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