The clip, from the “Ball in the Family” show on Facebook, was fodder for social media mavens and talk show hosts alike. But to Lonzo, it was just a disagreement, albeit one that was captured for the world to see.
“That was the most popular scene, it was everywhere,” he joked on The Woj Pod with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski released Friday morning.
“That’s part of life. I’m growing up. He has his ways, I have mine. We just got into it. That’s what fathers and sons do as time goes on. At the end of the day, it’s always love at the end. I know he loves me, I love him. We’re just not always going to agree on everything. That’s all it was.”
Lonzo enters the 2019-20 season with a new team — and with new shoes on his feet. On The Woj Pod, he explained how he wouldn’t do anything different and has no regrets about wearing Big Baller Brand shoes to begin his NBA career.
“It was different, but at the same time, we were trying to build a brand,” Lonzo said about coming out of UCLA and wearing his own shoes. “I had to wear them. But there was no way we could play in the shoes I had in summer league. There was no way they would make it to the NBA court.
“I’m grateful we got to link up with Brandblack for getting me a better shoe. … I played in Kobes my whole life, then switching it up at the last stage, it was different for me. But I don’t make excuses. I don’t regret anything I did.”
As he prepares to start the next chapter of his career in New Orleans, Lonzo will do so as he pushes away somewhat from his father’s control. The first sign of it was when Lonzo decided to sign with CAA.
“What makes it easier is I’m controlling everything now,” he said. “You really can’t tell me what to do. It’s my life, my career. I’m making all the decisions now. I chose to go to CAA. I think me becoming my own man is going to make it easier, honestly.”
The youngest Ball brother, LaMelo, is playing what would have been his freshman year in college in Australia as a part of the NBL’s Next Stars program. He has a chance to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft, which would be one spot higher than Lonzo was taken in 2017.
Unlike Lonzo, LaMelo will have a chance to go through meetings when he’s ready to be sponsored by a shoe brand as he hits the NBA, something the Ball brothers have talked about.
“He gets to go through the real, actual process,” Lonzo said. “When I was coming out, we were just working on my shoe, Big Baller Brand, that’s just what it was. I didn’t take any meetings. It was already kind of set for me.
“But I tell him all the time, this is going to be your decision. Go talk to Adidas. Go talk to Nike. Go talk to Puma. Go talk to everybody. Take every meeting. Whoever wants you the most, go with them. I told him, make sure you take control of your career now. Don’t wait like I did. Hopefully that helps him. He seems like he’s taking it all in. I’m excited for him.”
The two also have talked about LaMelo’s career on the court and where he can improve the most.
“Now it’s just about making sure he’s making the right play every time,” Lonzo said. “Right now I have him focusing on his turnovers. I know his first game [in the NBL] he had a couple more than I would like. But staying on the right path, listening to his coaches … He knows he’s probably the most talented kid when he steps on the court but it’s more than talent. Everyone has talent in the league.”
When it comes to his own game, Lonzo is focused on trying to play all 82 games for the first time in his career after playing in just 52 games as a rookie and 47 games last season.
He mentioned getting a chef and even joked that Pelicans guard E’Twaun Moore told him to watch how much he eats because it’s easy to gain a “quick 10 to 15” pounds thanks to New Orleans cuisine.
Lonzo also believes that even though the Pelicans are young, they have a chance to compete in the Western Conference.
“I tell everybody take it one game at a time,” Lonzo said. “We’re in the West. There’s no off nights. When you think it’s an off night, it’s not. You can lose any night. I think we have the pieces to do it and go where we need to go. But my advice to them is take it step by step.”