De’Aaron Fox Wanted to “Shut LaVar Ball Up”

Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox got the best of Lonzo Ball and UCLA in the NCAA Tournament, and it appears he had an interesting motive behind his 39-point performance in the 86-75 Regional Semifinal win.

Sports Illustrated’s Andrew Sharp recently did a sit-down interview with Fox. When asked about his motivation prior to the game against Lonzo, Fox revealed he had a “shut LaVar Ball up” mindset.

Fox also noted he was surprised how much spotlight LaVar has gotten.

“Last year he became somewhat relevant for some reason,” Fox said. “When I knew Lonzo in high school, I’d never seen his dad before. He went crazy this year. I guess when your son a lottery pick, that gives you a lot of confidence.”

But in a Players Tribune article published Friday, Lonzo defended everything his dad has done in an open Father’s Day letter to LaVar.

“What they don’t realize is all of the stuff that you’ve said about me in public is the same stuff you’ve been telling me privately my whole life,” Lonzo wrote. “And a lot of the time, you’ve been right. Over the years, you’ve spoken so many things into reality that otherwise seemed impossible.”

While Lonzo has expressed interest in playing for the Lakers, there have been rumors about the Celtics and Sixers trading up for the No. 1 pick, which could alter the NBA Draft landscape.

But no matter where Lonzo goes, Fox revealed that he doesn’t believe Lonzo is going to have an easy rookie season in the NBA.

“He put a target on his neck, not his back,” Fox said. “He’s gonna be good, but his first year in the league is going to be extremely tough.”

The NBA Draft is Thursday, June 22.