Max Kellerman of ESPN praised Ball’s father, LaVar Ball, for instilling a winning mentality in his kids.
Ball was part of a major offseason retool by the Bulls, who signed Ball, DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso to big contracts. This was to pair with Chicago's two All-Stars in Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic. The Bulls quickly became one of the better rosters in the Eastern Conference. But the question was, how would it all mesh?
Kellerman believes that Ball is one of the biggest reasons the Bulls have come together so fast, crediting his winning mindset. On ESPN’s “KJM,” Kellerman said:
“Lonzo Ball, whatever you want to say about the daddy. He raised his kids to play winning basketball, like how his kids play. They don't care about their stats. They'll play D. Lonzo will play defense rebound. He's not worried about how many points he's getting, all this kind of stuff. You could see his brain working, how to help his team win, like, at all times.”
Ball, when healthy, has been a crucial part of the Bulls' success. Despite only averaging 13 points and 5.1 assists, he adds in 5.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals. On top of that, he is also spacing the floor, shooting 43% from 3-point range on 7.4 attempts. And on defense, he has been tasked with the most challenging assignments most nights.
However, he has only played 35 games and will likely continue to miss time after the All-Star break. However, if Ball is back by the time of the playoffs, he will significantly increase the Bulls' chances of success.
Lonzo Ball and his family
When Lonzo Ball came up the ranks in the basketball world, he was a highly rated high school player who attended UCLA. He had a great freshman year and declared for the NBA draft, going second overall to the LA Lakers.
After Lonzo Ball turned pro, LaVar Ball quickly entered the lives of NBA fans. His entertaining rants and interviews about wanting all three of his sons to play for the Lakers became the highlight of the 2017 draft news cycle.
LaVar defiantly kept fans entertained and used his son's new NBA status to promote his brand, “BBB Big Baller Brand,” and started a shoe line. They would even have their own reality television show, starring the whole family.
Lonzo was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans, and the middle child, LiAngelo, went undrafted, which would take LaVar out of the spotlight some.
The youngest son, LaMelo Ball, was drafted third overall by the Charlotte Hornets after a year of playing overseas and other random events with his father and LiAngelo. LaMelo would be the first of the brothers to be selected as an All-Star, and last season's Rookie of the Year is a critical piece of the Hornets' future.
LaVar was not as entertaining in his youngest son's draft, which might have been due to some of the backlash when Lonzo was drafted.