Viewers on DStv can look forward to thrills and spills from the world’s best basketball league, as ESPN 2 brings live action from the 2019-20 National Basketball Association (NBA) season this coming week, Friday 25 SuperSport to Thursday 1 October 2020.
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One of the undoubted future stars of the NBA is New Orleans Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball, with the 22-year-old making waves in his third season in the league (2019-20) despite his team making an early exit from ‘the bubble’ in Disney World after failing to make the playoffs.
Ball, who was previously represented by the Creative Arts Agency and Roc Nation, has switched over to Klutch Sports, an agency run by Rich Paul which counts the likes of LeBron James and Anthony Davis as their clients.
“I wanted to lead my career,” Ball told ESPN of his agency switch. “Picking my own representation – just solely as my decision – was step one in that process. For me, it was an easy call, and it was the right time to make that call.”
The second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Ball has long been considered a hugely promising talent, but he feels that this offseason ahead of the 2020-21 campaign will be critical to his career, as he aims to follow in the footsteps of Pelicans teammate Brandon Ingram, who was recently named the Most Improved Player.
“Once we get in the playoffs, we take it one game at a time,” Ball said. “For myself, I think Most Improved Player is definitely something I can get next year.”
After butting heads with his famous father – LaVar Ball, himself a former professional football player – Lonzo Ball reveals that things are patched up on that front, and he can focus on taking charge of his own career.
“We had a couple rumblings here and there, but everything got squared away,” Lonzo Ball said. “When your son gets older, they’re going to butt heads with their dad, and that’s what I did for about a year and a half. But everything is cool now.”
Ball said the birth of his daughter, Zoey, and moving to New Orleans to get some space were helpful in mending his relationship with his father. Ball added that, despite no longer working together, he and LaVar talk almost every day.
“My dad put me in a position where I am comfortable making my own decisions now,” Ball said. “I think coming into the league, he was very controlling of everything that was going on. But that was an 18-, 19-year-old kid. But now I am 22 years old with my own family. Seeing how he watched over me and stuff – it was time for him to finally let go of everything and watch me be my own man.”
If Ball can continue his upward trajectory and help the Pelicans go much deeper into the 2020-21 season, then his growing maturity off the court will have been matched by an even greater improvement on it.