De'Aaron Fox, the likely NBA lottery pick from Kentucky, figures he should have been well-versed in LaVar Ball's act long before the rest of the nation's sports-minded public.
Fox, speaking to Sports Illustrated as part of an in-depth profile last month, said he knew fellow draft prospect Lonzo Ball from high school but before this past season had been unfamiliar with his outspoken father.
"In the last year, he became relevant for some reason," Fox told Sports Illustrated. "When I knew Lonzo in high school, I'd never seen his dad before. He went crazy this year. I guess when your son is a lottery pick, that gives you a lot of confidence."
Like many Americans with a television, radio or Wi-Fi, Fox has grown accustomed to the senior Ball's likeness -- and message, which has included such out-there declarations that Lonzo right now is a better player than two-time MVP Stephen Curry and that back in his heyday, LaVar "would kill Michael Jordan one-on-one."
Fox averaged 16.7 points and led the SEC in assists with 4.6 per game as a freshman for the Wildcats, who ousted Ball's UCLA Bruins in this year's Sweet 16. Fox said he was partly motivated for the game by taking a "shut LaVar Ball up" mindset, having previously co-opted a "kill mode all the time" approach.
Fox said the attention the Balls have drawn to themselves will result in NBA opponents' resolve to stifle a rookie Ball.
"He put a target on his neck," Fox told SI, adding that everyone will be gunning for Ball.
"Not just the great point guards," Fox said. "Every point guard. Like Patrick Beverley's not going to do it offensively, but he's gonna be like, 'Yo, this kid's not about to get past half court.'"