During tonight’s UCLA Basketball game, LaVar Ball, Lonzo’s dad was interviewed by ESPN reporter Jeff Goodman. Towards the end of the interview, Mr. Ball made a prediction which, if correct, could go down in the annals of sports history right alongside Joe Namath’s Super Bowl guarantee and Babe Ruth calling his shot in the 1932 World Series. Yes, it was that bold.
Yes, Bruin fans, he went there.
LaVar Ball guaranteed that UCLA will win its 12th NCAA Championship banner in Pauley Pavilion this season.
Now, I’ve enjoyed my Thanksgiving Day. I smoke-roasted our turkey on my grill today. In my house, I actually make most of our Thanksgiving Day dinner. By all accounts, it was a good day. There’s sure is plenty to be thankful for each and every day.
But, tonight, after watching and rewinding Mr. Ball’s interview about ten times, I think, at least as far as UCLA sports go today, I’m most thankful for him.
To be sure, he seems like a great dad to Lonzo and his brothers.
But, it goes waaaay beyond that.
He expresses a passion, a confidence and an optimism I wish we all could have as a Bruin fans. And, after listening to him make his bold pronouncement, I want to believe him.
Heck, UCLA is now 5-0 and the Bruin offense is averaging more than 100 points per game. Through those first five games, the Bruins certainly look much improved over last year’s team. Of course, that’s not hard because last year’s team was so bad in so many ways.
But, November is not the time to be filling out your brackets because a lot can and will happen between now and the first Monday in April when the NCAA Champions are crowned.
And, as good as the team has looked through five games, the fact remains that Steve Alford is a coach who has never been beyond the Sweet 16.
Is Lonzo Ball the type of player who can lead a guy like Alford over that hump? It sure looks that way.
And, it’s also possible that Lonzo could lead the Bruins all the way to UCLA’s 12th national championship in April.
But, I’d feel a lot better about that kind of prediction if LaVar Ball would have added “....and, if they don’t win the national championship, Lonzo will stay in school all four years.”
Because that’s the best way to make sure that LaVar’s prediction becomes reality.