Another day, another controversial claim from basketball dad LaVar Ball. After guaranteeing that his son Lonzo Ball and UCLA would win the national championship, LaVar now has a reason as to why they lost to Kentucky 86-75 in the Sweet 16.
“Realistically you can’t win no championship with three white guys because the foot speed is too slow,” Ball said, per Clay Fowler of the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. “I told Lonzo—’One of these games you might need to go for 30 or 40 points.’ It turned out the that was the one game. Then once they get to the Elite Eight, they’re right there.”
UCLA didn’t make it to the Elite Eight, and Ball was likely referring to Bryce Alford, TJ Leaf, and Thomas Welsh, three white starters for the Bruins who combined for 39 points in that final game. Though LaVar wanted his son to score 30 points, Lonzo finished the game with just 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting from the field, including going 1-of-6 from three-point range along with eight assists and four turnovers. His opponent, De’Aaron Fox, however, scored 39 points for the Kentucky Wildcats.
Lonzo has decided to be a one-and-done, declaring for the NBA draft and is a top prospect. His teammate Leaf has declared for the draft as well and is expected to be a first-round pick, according to DraftExpress. Alford finished his career with 1,922 points, which is one of the best totals in UCLA history.
LaVar also told Fowler that Lonzo “popped his hamstring” in the loss.