LaMelo Ball not worried about father LaVar Ball’s draft preferences

Sunil Kumar
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LaMelo Ball, a likely top-five pick in November’s NBA draft, says he’s open to playing anywhere — including Golden State, despite his father LaVar’s recent comments about it possibly being a bad fit.

“Well, I’m my own man. He’s his own man. He has his opinions, I have mine,” Ball said of his dad. “Like I said, I feel I could play on any team and do good anywhere I go, so anything that happens, I’m positive.”

In July, LaVar Ball said he didn’t want his son to go to the Warriors because LaMelo likely would be coming off the bench. While he noted that a lot of current stars began their careers as reserve players, LaVar Ball told the “Road Trippin'” podcast, “Michael Jordan didn’t come off the bench.”

Minnesota currently holds the No. 1 pick, with Golden State set to pick No. 2 and Charlotte at No. 3 overall. The draft is set for Wednesday, Nov. 18.

“Anywhere is a great fit,” Ball said. “I mean, it’s the NBA. You put me with good players, I feel like it’s even gonna be better.”

Ball said he’s also been in contact with the New York Knicks, who own the eighth pick in the draft. He said the team was looking to get to know him outside of his media perception.

However, going No. 1 would definitely be a special moment.

“Ever since I was little, when you do little projects and stuff, that was one of my goals, to go to the NBA and be the No. 1 pick,” Ball said.

He spoke to the media after an intense Monday afternoon training session in the Detroit area. Ball has been training in the area for much of this pre-draft process with his mentor and manager, Jermaine Jackson Sr. — also a former NBA player for the Detroit Pistons, Toronto Raptors, Milwaukee Bucks, Atlanta Hawks and Knicks.

They developed a close relationship when Ball attended SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio, which continues to help him throughout this process. Jackson has a strong connection to the city as a Motown native and former player at the University of Detroit Mercy.

“We’ve got all access no matter what. In Detroit, we can go in any gym and do what we need to do,” Jackson told ESPN. “So we don’t have to go somewhere else and ask somebody, ‘Can we get in the gym?’ or ‘Can we do this?’ or ‘Can we do that?’ No, we’ve got that whole access of whatever we want to do, when we want to do it here.”

That Detroit toughness is rubbing off on the prospect, who considers himself to be a point guard in the NBA.

“Definitely always had that mindset, but definitely you know how it is out around here, so that’s always gonna help too,” Ball said.



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