LaVar Ball says son Lonzo will be ready for next season

The father of Bulls point guard Lonzo Ball says he will help his son rehab his knee injury ‘‘the right way.”

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Bulls guard Lonzo Ball advances the ball during a game last season.

Lonzo Ball will be ready to rejoin the Bulls next season, his father LaVar says.

Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

LaVar Ball lives by the credo of ‘‘speak it into existence.’’ That might be good news for the Bulls.

In an interview with ESPN 1000’s David Kaplan, the boisterous father of Bulls point guard Lonzo Ball said he is confident his son will be ready for the start of the 2022-23 regular season. There has been growing concern that might not be the case, especially with Lonzo enduring several setbacks since having surgery on his left knee in January.

LaVar, however, did his best to ease some minds.

‘‘He should be ready for the season this year,’’ LaVar said. ‘‘Because he’s going to stay out here [in Los Angeles] and get it done the right way. Sometimes you have to get your own guy to say, ‘OK, this is how we gotta do this.’ ’’

LaVar went on to say that he told Lonzo: ‘‘If all else fails, go back to the basics, which is come back to me and let me get you right because you were never hurt when you were with me.’’

LaVar said he thought the Bulls took the wrong approach in trying to get Lonzo back up and running after his surgery, especially given that he already had a bone bruise in the knee. LaVar said the team’s training staff should have had Lonzo do most of his rehab in the pool, as well as strengthen the other muscles around the knee, rather than do the usual out-of-water rehab.

He also pointed out that the Lakers took a similar approach to Lonzo’s knee rehab in 2019, ‘‘where they got you on these rubber bands. You’re not doing any strength training or anything like that for your legs, you’re gonna get hurt.’’

Kaplan asked LaVar whether Lonzo would need another surgery this summer. He responded: ‘‘He won’t need another surgery. He’s just going to be out here in L.A., and they’re going to train him a different way, which is something he’s used to.’’

But it wouldn’t be an interview with LaVar if he didn’t go all LaVar. He said he has a secret ingredient that will make sure Lonzo will be good to go by training camp.

‘‘I told him he’d better go back to ‘Big Baller’ style and stop trying to drink that God-dang almond milk and drink you some Vitamin D whole milk,’’ LaVar said. ‘‘People see me, I don’t got no bone spurs and all that stuff. You drink that weak stuff, you’re going to get some of that.’’

Lonzo played in only 35 games in his first season with the Bulls, but what a 35 games they were. He not only emerged as the best two-way player in the starting unit, but he pushed the tempo with the ball and was huge as an outside shooter when defenses collapsed on Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan. Lonzo shot 42.3% from three-point range and took 7.4 three-pointers per game.

When he went down in mid-January, the Bulls were 27-13 and sitting atop the Eastern Conference. His point-guard duties fell to several players, but rookie Ayo Dosunmu earned most of the playing time with the starting unit. Dosunmu had some capable moments but couldn’t bring what Lonzo did to the position.

Lonzo spoke with the media recently and, while disappointed by the injury, focused on the big picture.

‘‘We had a lot of promise, I felt like,’’ he said. ‘‘And we had a lot of goals that I don’t think were met, mainly due to a lot of health issues. You can’t change the past. I think everything happens for a reason. For me, it’s now about moving forward and getting ready for next year.’’

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