Everybody Is Mad at Lonzo Ball, the NBA’s Most Promising Rookie, For Talking Shit About Nas
Lonzo Ball is an extremely talented rookie NBA player with the court vision of a hawk and the shooting instincts of a drunk Steph Curry. He will either usher the Los Angeles Lakers into an infuriating era of dominance, or turn out to be total trash. Another fun thing about Ball, besides his domineering sports father and his burgeoning empire of trash sports apparel, is his age: He’s just 19 years old, which apart from being a preternaturally talented basketball player, means that the majority of his opinions are completely indefensible. Case in point: During the first episode of Ball in the Family, the new reality show about his family, Lonzo was asked to listen to some “real hip-hop” by the cameraman. “That’s not gonna happen,” he said. “Y’all outdated, man. Don’t nobody listen to Nas no more. Real hip-hop is Migos and Future.” (Comments here around the 9:00 mark.)
Inasmuch as a 19-year old’s reality is inflexibly true to him, this is more or less correct. Nas hasn’t had a hit record, or a record that captured the critical zeitgeist, in a very long time. Migos and Future, meanwhile, are riding their creative and commercial peaks. On the other hand, Nas will always be relevant because he’s Nas, rapper of Illmatic, beefer with Jay-Z. His place in the pantheon is firmly secured, which means rap fans from now until the end of days will be coming across his music. Lonzo might’ve said, “Don’t nobody watch Kareem Abdul-Jabbar highlights no more. Real Lakers are me and Julius Randle.”
Of course, the blowback was immediate. People already think Lonzo is an entitled brat with a dickhead father, and a casual Twitter search of “Lonzo Ball Nas” reveals mostly mockery twinned with disdain. Lil B had a good response, too:
You know who was less amused? Anthony Saleh, who manages both Nas and—funny enough—Future. Over the weekend, Saleh responded to Lonzo’s comments with a deeply rude comeback:
Jesus, dude, he’s 19.
As of press time, Lonzo had not yet replied. He did rap at his brother LaMelo’s birthday party, which you can watch below.
It’s at least as good as “Kobe.”