Back in September, one of the many infamous quotes LaVar Ball said during an entertaining visit to ESPN First Take was, “I bet you Steph Curry won’t go over there and try to guard him. Guaranteed. You’ll see it.”
New Clippers’ point guard Patrick Beverley — notorious for getting under the skin of other players — saw the quote and tweeted, “but imma guard him the first game and we will see about that!!!”
During Wednesday’s Lakers’ practice, Ball was asked about the two-time All-Defensive player. “He’s going to play hard,” Ball said of Beverley. “I’ve been watching the NBA for a long time now. Picks up full court. Plays hard. Like I said, it’s going to be a lot of fun. He’s going to go at me. I’m going to go at him.”
He was right about them going at each other but I’m not sure how much fun Lonzo really had during his struggling NBA debut: 3 points on 1-of-6 shooting (1-3 3pt, 0-2 ft), 9 boards, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block and 2 turnovers in 29 minutes of a 108-92 loss to the Clippers.
For 29 plays, Beverley bumped, stared at, talked trash at and did his best to annoy Ball the way he always annoyed Russell Westbrook.
After the game, Beverley said he had to “welcome his young a$$ to the NBA.”
“I just had to set the tone,” Beverley said. “I told him after the game, due to all the riff-raff his Dad brings, he’s going to get a lot of people coming at him. He has to be ready for that and I let him know after the game. But what a better way to start him off. I was 94 feet guarding him tonight. Had to welcome his young a$$ to the NBA.”
According to ESPN’s Marc Spears, after shutting down Ball and before telling a reporter in this clip, “I’m not done,” Beverley was heard screaming, “Weak ass motherfucker. Bring him out on the court with me and I will tear his ass up.”
Those comments didn’t sit well with Lonzo’s Dad, who was in attendance with about 40 family and friends.
“Yeah, you shut the motherfucker down,” LaVar Ball told ESPN after the game. “And your check still ain’t going to go no higher than what it is. Yeah, you shut him down. OK … Who is Patrick Beverley? He played all last year and nobody said nothing about him. Now we are looking at your first game. Why? Because Lonzo’s name is attached to it.
“So you got to be [all hard],” Ball added as he slapped his fists together. “Let’s see what you do the next five games, if you are going to be pumped up towards everybody like that and go back to your 0-for-5 shooting and your two or three rebounds. Nobody is going to care about you. But you put my son’s name in it and you put my name in it, now you got some action and you got some people talking.”
When LaVar was told Beverley didn’t actually say Lonzo in the same sentence as the motherfucker, the BBB CEO replied, “You ain’t got to say it by name because I saw the way he looked at me when he was on the side of the bench. He was going to see if I can get eye contact. I just looked at him like I looked right past him because he’s nobody. You talking to Big Baller.”
As expected, the always quotable and known LaVar Ball hater Michael Rapaport had something to say about all of this.
As expected, poker face Lonzo was cool and calm talking about Beverley and his performance after the game.
“He plays hard, he knows his job, he does it very well,” said Ball. “He gets under people’s skin and plays defense and does what he can to help his team win.”
“We got blown out so I didn’t play too well.”
And to end this by going full circle back to Stephen A. Smith, here’s LaVar and Smith hilariously going at it again.
“Lonzo did good.” – LaVar Ball
“WHAT GAME WERE YOU WATCHING!?!” – Stephen A. Smith