NBA rookie Lonzo Ball may have finally shut his pops all the way up. Since the start of his rookie year with the Los Angeles Lakers, the second overall pick has struggled to get out from under the practically impossible expectations publicly thrust upon him by his father, LaVar Ball. However, Lonzo looks to have taken things into his own hands, getting his first pair of tattoos, ensuring that he’ll piss off his anti-ink dad.
Lonzo got two tattoos, one on each wrist: the first reads “Motivated by Jesus, dedicated to the game” next to a crucifix; the other says “Born to ball, because of him,” with his own birthday next to the quote. Do those tattoos sound just a little bit cheesy? Perhaps. But it sure looks like Lonzo is trying to step out of his dad’s shadow and become his own man: “My dad was pretty mad the first time,” said Lonzo in an interview with the Orange County Register. “He doesn’t like tattoos.”
That might be an understatement: LaVar had recently gone off on Lonzo’s brother, LiAngelo, for getting an enormous tattoo on his upper body. Lonzo’s new ink is in solidarity with his younger brother: “My brother got a bunch of them so I didn’t want him to be the only one in the family.”
Though LaVar might be upset, it’s not hard to understand why all of his kids are rebelling in their own ways. LaVar’s greatest hits include taking the two younger Ball brothers, LaMelo and LiAngelo. out of school to go play professional basketball in Lithuania, and who can forget about him claiming Lonzo is already better than Steph Curry.
In case there’s doubt over the tattoos signifying independence from his dad, Lonzo made it very clear that his NBA salary has given him the confidence to be his own man: “I’m in my own house now. Pay my own bills. So he can’t really tell me nothing.”
This isn’t the first time Lonzo has responded to his dad’s loud mouth. In a Father’s Day themed Foot Locker ad, the rookie acknowledged how ridiculous it is that LaVar attempts to coach from the sidelines, and that he tried to copyright Lonzo’s name to make it part of the “family lifestyle brand.”