LOS ANGELES >> Just about everything the Ball family does gets attention, and LiAngelo Ball’s pre-draft workout with the Lakers today was no exception.
About two dozen members of the media watched Ball’s final drills while Magic Johnson and Lakers coach Luke Walton looked on. Lakers guard Lonzo Ball, LiAngelo’s older brother, was there for the workout as well.
“I feel like it went good,” the younger Ball said. “It’s always fun being in here doing things I want to get better at. It was a good workout.”
LaVar Ball has been outspoken about his desire for all three of his sons — Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo, the youngest — to play for the Lakers. The Lakers have the 25th pick in the first round next month, though LiAngelo Ball’s draft prospects are uncertain. He wasn’t even scheduled to be a starter at UCLA before leaving the program after being indefinitely suspended for an international incident last year in China. He also had a stint with the professional Lithuanian team Vytautas.
“It was good that (Lonzo) was here, but if he wasn’t here I would’ve been doing the same thing,” LiAngelo Ball said. “I don’t really pay attention to who’s here and who’s not. I just do what I do.”
“I showed I can knock down shots and get some wins within the 2-on-2 and 3-on-3s,” LiAngelo said. “I showed I can play together.”
LiAngelo Ball confirmed that he has an upcoming workout with the Golden State Warriors. He also said he’ll play in the NBA summer league, but he is not sure which team he’ll play for yet.
As far as what he believes his NBA draft prospects are, Ball said: “I’m not sure what’s going on with the draft. I’m just playing my hardest and whatever team thinks I can produce for them, that’s who I’ll play for.”
Ball and two teammates became an international story when they were arrested for shoplifting during UCLA’s exhibition basketball trip to China last year. They were all suspended indefinitely, and LaVar Ball pulled his son out of school while he was serving that suspension.
Asked what he’ll tell NBA teams about why he left UCLA, Ball said: “I don’t really remember too much about that. That’s a closed chapter in my life. I just moved on. Went overseas. Just learned from over there. Came back.”
LaVar had already pulled LaMelo out of high school to homeschool him and the two went to play professionally in Lithuania.
The move was heavily scrutinized.
“I think it prepared me a little better as far as going against grown men that care about their job every day,” LiAngelo Ball said. “If you’re not producing out there, they’ll fire you real quick.”
During the workout, Ball was reunited with former UCLA teammate Thomas Welsh, a 7-foot center who played for the Bruins for four years. They practiced together at UCLA but didn’t play together there.
“I think he’s the same guy,” Welsh said. “He’s a hard-working kid. We had a chance to play with him on 3-on-3 and 2-on-2 live action stuff. He’s a lot of fun to play with. He works his tail off. It was really good to be back on the court with him again today.”
Among others at the Lakers workout Tuesday were guard Jaylen Adams (St. Bonaventure), guard Devon Hall (Virginia), guard Tyus Battle (Syracuse) and Dusan Ristic (Arizona).