UCLA’s Bryce Alford Calls LaVar Ball’s Reputation ‘Unfair’ To Lonzo

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Bryce Alford wants to make one thing clear: Lonzo Ball is not his father. The UCLA guard spoke about his former star player as the NBA Draft draws closer, and he defended his former teammate against what he says is an “unfair” reputation he’s acquired from his demanding father.

“It’s just an unfair thing for Lonzo just because I think he gets a rep he doesn’t deserve,” Alford said.

Though he did say he didn’t want to put out anything negative about LaVar Ball, Alford made it clear the two are very different people. He thinks not enough people separate the player from the father.

“He does get a persona that’s just totally not him. He’s an absolutely great kid, great teammate and truly cares about what his teammates are doing more so than himself. So if anything I hope NBA people can see that.”

Lonzo has gotten plenty of praise from his teammates and certainly his coach (Bryce’s dad). A Los Angeles Times article about Ball last week was full of praise from everyone at UCLA. Head coach Steve Alford has raved about Ball’s play, and downplayed the impact LaVar had on UCLA and Lonzo throughout the season. He’s gone to bat for the Balls at a time when many have wondered if LaVar will be more trouble than Lonzo’s worth with a pick in the draft.

What’s left is whether you actually believe the Alfords are telling the truth here. Steve is heavily invested in the Ball ecosystem, with two more of LaVar’s sons scheduled to attend UCLA. Lozno’s time with the Bruins was fruitful, and if LaVar means winning games, he’s going to say whatever it takes to keep him happy. Even if it means ignoring some things LaVar has said about UCLA’s players.

But Lonzo is getting all the right things said about him as the draft approaches. He’s a team-first guy, he makes others around him better. His father really seems to be the only question mark. Good thing he won’t have to play.