Notwithstanding a disappointing debut in the Las Vegas Summer League, LaVar Ball still boasted that his son, Lonzo, would win the NBA Rookie of the Year Award with the Los Angeles Lakers. "Rookie of the Year (ROY), man, sewn up," LaVar stressed in an ESPN interview despite his son finishing with just five points on 2-for-15 shooting in the Lakers’ 96-93 overtime loss to crosstown rival Los Angeles Clippers. LaVar is confident that his son, the No. 2 overall pick by the Lakers in the 2017 NBA Draft, will turn the franchise around and lead the team to the playoffs in his rookie year.

Lonzo impressed the crowd with some slick passes, with his first assist as a Laker coming off an alley-oop pass to Brandon Ingram, who finished with an emphatic dunk. Ball finished with five assists, four rebounds and two steals and made just one of 11 attempts from beyond the arc, missing two game-tying three-point shots in overtime. "Can't go [anywhere] but up and you still keep your team in the game playing the worst game ever,” LaVar said in the same interview as he defended his son’s poor play.

Lakers could win title with Lonzo, LeBron James

LaVar also declared that his son and LeBron James can give the Lakers the NBA crown if they will team up in 2018, calling their tandem ‘the real deal”.

Earlier, James took exception to LaVar's claim to 24/7 Sports that his kids are set up better for future success that the children of the Cavaliers’ superstar. In an interview with ESPN's Dave McMenamin, James advised LaVar to "keep my kids' name out of your mouth."

LaVar cleared the air during his ESPN interview, saying the media made a scenario like he was talking about James’ son.

“It was nothing. And they take it to us battling against each other. But I ain't talking about no one else's kids,” said LaVar, who has attracted controversies in the past after declaring that he can beat Michael Jordan one-on-one in his prime. He also declared Lonzo a better player than the Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry.

Lakers eyeing Rodney Stuckey as mentor to Ball

Mark Medina of the Orange County Register reported that the Lakers are interested in bringing in free-agent guard Rodney Stuckey as a possible mentor to Lonzo. Medina said the two caps had preliminary discussions but no meeting has been scheduled. The 31-year-old Stuckey is aware that the Lakers can only offer a one-year deal as they want to keep a bigger salary cap room for 2018. The Indiana Pacers waived Stuckey after a three-year run with the team. Before he was released, Stuckey averaged 7.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 17.8 minutes of action per game.