Ball Brothers Showdown Means LaVar Was Right All Along| Lonzo & LaMelo Were Bred For NBA Success

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 29: LaMelo Ball (2) of the Charlotte Hornets and brother Lonzo Ball (2) of the Chicago Bulls chase a loose ball at United Center on November 29, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Ball brothers were center stage last night, Nov. 29, as older brother Lonzo and his Chicago Bulls defeated younger brother LaMelo and the Charlotte Hornets 133-119. This was the third time in their careers the brothers have gone head to head.

Last night Lonzo finished with 16 points and eight assists, while LaMelo had 18 points and 13 assists.

LaMelo had a near-triple-double in their first meeting, going for 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists to lead the Hornets to a win over the New Orleans Pelicans, where Lonzo only had five points on a poor shooting night. In their second matchup Lonzo’s Pelicans got the win, but LaMelo’s 22 points and five assists bested Lonzo’s 12 points and six assists.

That’s Lonzo 1 and LaMelo 2 through three games of what we hope will be many more entertaining contests.

“I play to win. I’m still the big brother at the end of the day,” Lonzo said, “and I got to stack my wins.”
“I mean we’ve been talking about the NBA since we were little boys,” LaMelo said. “Just going out there and playing against him, always a dream come true, for real.”

The crowd certainly had fun with the brothers, as the Chicago faithful chanted “Lonzo’s better” at one point when LaMelo was at the free throw line. Both brothers also had highlights at the expense of the other.

LaMelo with a slick dribble to shake Lonzo and step back three.

Lonzo with a block on LaMelo at the rim which led to a Bulls fast break and dunk.

Lonzo is playing the best ball of his career and finally for a winning organization, so his full talents and skills are being appreciated and utilized. And in only his second season, LaMelo is already a net positive in EPM at +3.8.

It’s hard not to think back to all the things Ball family patriarch LaVar, who was in the crowd wearing a black hat that read “I Told You So,” said about his basketball progeny.

Elevation of Melo Ball Is Further Proof Of Lavar Ball’s Forward Thinking Genius

LaVar was a regular on all the talking head shows speaking defiantly and brashly about the talents of his three sons (LiAngelo was recently on the Hornets summer league roster). Lonzo was the No. 2 pick and made second team All-Rookie. LaMelo was the No. 3 pick, rookie of the year, and first team all-rookie.

That’s pretty incredible.

Having one child make the best and most competitive basketball league in the world is nearly impossible, but two, with a third on a summer league roster? You’d have better odds winning the lottery.

Maybe he was a little too bombastic, perhaps his constant appearances in the media made it difficult for the teams his son was on to operate. Maybe he was too arrogant. Maybe he was some or all of those things.

Gregg Popovich: LaVar Ball’s “Just Another Fan In The Peanut Gallery”

But the reality is LaVar is a Black man heavily invested in his son’s futures, in a world that often over exaggerates and vilifies Black men for the opposite. He molded three men he believed would be basketball superstars and he told the whole world about it.

The jury is still out on superstardom, and LiAngelo is a longshot to get on an NBA roster. But his sons are NBA players and doing it at a high level. That is remarkable and should be celebrated.


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