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Lonzo Ball can thank his dad for the Wizards wanting to ‘torture’ him

This beef between the Wizards and the Lakers came out of nowhere.

Los Angeles Lakers v Phoenix Suns Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Lonzo Ball will face his toughest challenge so far in the young season on Wednesday night when he faces John Wall and the Washington Wizards.

Wall is the first truly elite point guard Ball will see this season, which is a difficult task in itself. But the difficulty of it might be amplified a tiny bit because of a controversy sparked by, you guessed it, LaVar Ball.

What did LaVar Ball say?

After the Lakers fell to the Pelicans on Monday night, LaVar Ball declared that the best was yet to come for Lonzo Ball and that the Wizards needed to be wary of what was to come from his son for the rest of the week.

“They better beware cause Lonzo ain’t losing again,” LaVar Ball said to Ball is Life. “Not in the same week.”

Those are strong words from a man who isn’t playing in any games. And the Wizards didn’t really appreciate them.

So how do the Wizards feel about this?

They haven’t taken kindly to it at all. Marcin Gortat was the first Wizard to chime in, saying Wall will “torture” Ball for 48 minutes in response Ball is Life’s original tweet.

Safe to say we know where Gortat stands. Just like Patrick Beverley, Gortat thinks LaVar Ball is writing checks for Lonzo Ball that aren’t going to be easy to cash. And to do it when he’s going to go up against an elite guard in Wall might not be the wisest.

Wall agreed — there is an added pressure Ball is facing because of his father. He told reporters he’d have “no mercy” on Lonzo Ball during their matchup. He looked forward to the challenge already, but LaVar Ball’s comments give Wall even more incentive to play well.

“Certain matchups you really get up for. Like when you play Steph [Curry], you definitely want to have a good game,” Wall said to Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. “I’m playing against [Ball]. [Gortat] said what he said about me. I didn’t say anything. His dad has been talking.”

And this isn’t just starting with LaVar Ball’s comments about the Wizards. Wall was irked by Lonzo Ball before the season even started. The NBA posted a graphic for opening week that included some of the league’s brightest stars — and one that included Lonzo Ball. Wall was missing.

Safe to say Wall has had this game marked on his calendar for a while.

The Lakers say they have Ball’s back

But the madness doesn’t stop there. The Lakers are aware of what the Wizards have said in retaliation to Ball’s father’s confidence in him. They saw what Gortat said and took exception to it — particularly Brandon Ingram.

When asked if he saw Gortat’s tweet, Ingram told ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk he did and didn’t like it.

“Everyone has social media, definitely saw it. The competitor in Lonzo, of course he didn't take it so well, and with his teammates behind him, we didn't take it so well.”

Lonzo Ball, himself, told reporters that he didn’t pay any mind to what Gortat tweeted. He said he knew his teammates had his back and that their only goal as a team was to get a win.

As far as what his father said? It doesn’t phase him, Ball said, "That's how I grew up, so that's normal for me.”

But it’s not all beef

Basketball is still just a game, and this game probably won’t have any meaningful consequences that come with it for either side anytime soon. LaVar Ball is being the same father he’s always been to Lonzo Ball, and that’s not exactly a bad thing. At least not in the eyes of Wizards coach Scott Brooks.

Brooks had a very personal take on LaVar Ball’s relationship with his son. It’s a relationship he didn’t have with his father and one he appreciates seeing.

“You know what, hey, people talk about his dad all the time. Hey, I mean, my father left me at two. I would love to have my father around like [LaVar] is around and talk to him and pump me up with confidence,” Brooks said. “To me, that’s every son’s dream.”

Even if Ball is over the top at times, at least he’s there. To Brooks, that’s all that really matters. But I’m sure that won’t stop him from going out and trying to get his team a fourth straight win over Lonzo Ball and the Lakers.

This is an unexpected rivalry, but the best ones always are. This should be a pretty fun matchup when everything is said and done.

The Ball and Fox Beef History