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LaVar: NBA conditioning, 'raggedy shoes' to blame for sons' injuries

Jacob Kupferman / Getty Images Sport / Getty

LaVar Ball believes poor conditioning and footwear are the reasons his sons Lonzo and LaMelo have struggled with injuries during their NBA careers.

In an interview with CBS Sports' Bill Reiter, the Ball family patriarch explained why he thinks he provided his sons with better training than they've received at the NBA level.

"They say, oh, LaVar, you worked the boys out too hard - that's why they hurt," LaVar said. "No, the reason they hurt is because they got away from me. And they start doing these rooty-toot workouts. Because if you keep running them hills, you're going to keep that power and that strength. But you start dealing with these rubber bands and doing this lightweight stuff, of course you're going to start breaking down."

Lonzo has been sidelined for the past two-and-a-half seasons due to a knee injury he suffered in January 2022. The Chicago Bulls guard recently started participating in advanced non-contact drills, but there's still no timetable for when he'll be cleared for contact and five-on-five basketball.

Younger brother LaMelo played in just 22 games for the Charlotte Hornets before being shut down for the season in March due to an ankle injury. He also had his 2022-23 campaign cut short after suffering a right ankle fracture. LaVar said he partially blames LaMelo's shoes for the issues.

"They've been trained hard enough? No, no, no," LaVar said. "Because you condition your body for running and jumping. You've got to condition your legs. So that's why I always have my boys in them hills and running hard in them hills. That will make you run like a deer when you get on that court, so you won't be getting hurt. A lot of things have to do with them raggedy shoes that Melo be wearing. Them shoes are not made the right way for him. That's why he keeps tweaking his ankle every single time."

LaMelo left his family's apparel company, Big Baller Brand, to join Puma in 2020 and has since released three signature sneakers with the brand.

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