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A natural talent would be the only way to describe the UCLA freshman, Lonzo Ball. The California Native skills have been so special this year, that you kinda know what to expect from him in the NBA. When playing the 6-foot-6 guard you definitely have to pick your poison, do you want the drive and dunk or the crossover step-back 3-pointer. And let’s not forget about the defensive problems he creates; his athleticism, size, and length make it hard for a consistent scorer to be a scorer.

But with all this talent the question still remains, is Lonzo Ball NBA ready?

Of course, the young man will be ready when the time presents itself, I mean he only won All-Pac-12 honors, Pac-12 player of the year, freshman of the year and we can go on and on about his short but proven resume. This young man holds all of the potential in the world and has to continue to stay focused on his game and not the off court drama. He has to become a consistent scorer who can play through adversity while maintaining his head on the court. I am sure he will be just fine in the NBA for years to come but I worry about the distractions and extra pressure that may affect his game over time.

One of those big distractions that I worry about is his own flesh and blood, his father, Lavar Ball.

UCLA guard Lonzo Ball (r.)  shakes hands with his father LaVar.

Although we clearly see that Lavar Ball is a loving and passionate father; it seems that his, “marketing strategy” and intentions have not been the best way of selling this particular product. The outlandish comments from Lonzo’s father thus far have put him on the hot seat to perform every single game. Lavar has claimed his son is better than 2-time MVP and NBA champion Stephan Curry and that he could have easily won a championship with the Golden State Warriors if the two players switched teams. With strong comments like these, you create a societal pressure that is not needed and in most cases unwanted.

There must be a conducive strategy to help Lonzo’s image and not hurt it.

I watched Lonzo Ball have a less than stellar performance in what he says, will be his last game in a UCLA jersey. Yes, this was a big game and yes Lonzo Ball did not play up to the potential that NBA analyst and coaches know he can. But I’m sure unlike other top ranked college players that there were more expectations brought upon him because of his father’s recent boastings. During the loss to Kentucky Lonzo Ball scored 10 points 8 assist and 3 rebounds in which he certainly didn’t look like the potential number 1 draft pick or someone who is better than Stephan Curry.

But how do you sympathize with a “KID” who is being overshadowed and judged based on his loud mouth father’s words?

Not to sure but hopefully with this loss it will redirect both Lonzo’s and Lavar’s minds to the more important things; Hard work, passion, and enhancement. The NBA will take nothing less than these 3 components.

Lonzo Ball is a great young player and has a bright future but he needs a supporter, not a booster.

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Henry Clopton, a senior journalism major and speech minor who attends Georgia State University. A native Atlantan with aspirations in becoming a Sports Analyst. Currently, he serves as an ESPN Ambassador, Intern for the 100 Black Men of America, The Male Mentorship Director for the Collegiate 100 of Atlanta and also a member of the Sports Package team for Georgia State University. His favorite quote to live by is “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth” spoken by Muhammed Ali.