When De’Aaron Fox and Lonzo Ball faced off in the NCAA Tournament, Fox got the best of his UCLA rival. With
39 points on 13-of-20 shooting, Fox lead the Wildcats past Ball and company and into the Elite Eight.
In a recent sit-down with Sports Illustrated’s Andrew Sharp, Fox was asked about his mindset going into the game that featured two of the best college players in the country.
“Shut LaVar Ball up,” Fox said, referring to Lonzo’s father.
The comment was said with a laugh, but appeared to have real sentiment behind it. Fox went on to express something of a bewilderment to the character the elder Ball has become.
Said Fox, “Last year he became somewhat relevant for some reason.”When I knew Lonzo in high school, I’d never seen his dad before. He went crazy this year. I guess when your son a lottery pick, that gives you a lot of confidence.”
Fox goes on to say that he thinks Lonzo might not have the easiest of rookie seasons.
“He put a target on his neck. Not his back,” said Fox. “He’s gonna be good, but his first year in the league is going to be extremely tough.”
Fox added that because of Ball’s high profile, he believes everyone will be looking to play him hard.
“Not just the great point guards,” says Fox. “Every point guard. Like Patrick Beverley’s not going to do it offensively, but he’s gonna be like, ‘Yo this kid’s not about to get past halfcourt.'”
De’Aaron Fox is likely to be drafted after Ball, but still expected to be a lottery pick. Depending on which team he ends up going to (and whether or not LaVar reads his SI profile), this duo has the potential to become an interesting rookie rivalry to watch this season.
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