Photo Credit: Silver Screen and Roll
Unlike usual, much of the pre-draft broadcast on ESPN was not spent focusing on the NBA draft itself. In fact, it really wasn’t focused on any of the draft’s players in particular either. Instead, it was focused on the father of one particular player. LaVar Ball, Lonzo Ball’s father, has actually been in the spotlight for some time, and this year’s NBA draft was no exception.
LaVar has been able to manipulate both the media and the public with his obnoxious and sometimes offensive way of presenting his thoughts to the public. Whether it’s claiming he could beat Michael Jordan one-on-one in his heyday or blaming UCLA’s loss in the Sweet Sixteen on the white players (of which two actually averaged more points per game than Lonzo), he’s forced the media and public to pay attention to him, which is exactly what he wants, even if that attention is negative. He knows people want to hate, and he knows that that hate gives him attention. It’s a win-win.
Proof that he has successfully accomplished this manipulation is the fact that not only do people still talk and obsess over him, but the fact that through his “Big Baller Brand”, Lonzo Ball already has his own $495 shoe at age 19. LaVar is getting what he wants, and nothing less, and he has been doing so for quite some time.
But despite being wrong with some of his predictions, like claiming that UCLA would win this year’s NCAA basketball championship, his key prediction all along was that his son would play for the Lakers. In fact, he said that his son would ONLY play for the Lakers, and he claimed that he would not even work out for any other team. He has said for months and months (or as he claims, since the day Lonzo was born) that Lonzo would end up as a Los Angeles Laker. And what do you know? The Lakers, despite not having the best odds to do so, won the #2 overall draft pick in this May’s NBA draft lottery, and they selected Lonzo Ball with that pick.
So guess what happens next? LaVar Ball is going to continue remind everyone “I told you so,” like he did when the Lakers selected Lonzo. And he’s also going to continue his blasphemy, which reiterates why I now generally refer to him as LaVar Ball-abbermouth. He’s already made another bold claim that no one can disprove at this point, saying that Lonzo will lead the currently awful Lakers team to the playoff in his first season. While many may not agree and in fact may argue with that statement, it hasn’t been proven wrong, and frankly won’t and can’t be until the Lakers are eliminated from playoff contention, if in fact they are, and they mathematically can’t be eliminated until at least halfway through the 2017-2018 season.
Like his claim about Lonzo playing for the Lakers, despite the 29/30 chance of that not being the case, no one could disprove LaVar since the draft had not yet happened. Now the draft has happened, and it turns out LaVar was right. And now that he has made another bold claim about Lonzo leading the Lakers to the playoffs, he will continue to be in the spotlight of both the public and the media, taking hate from all sides, but getting the attention he desires in doing so.
To the dismay of many, LaVar Ball was right. Because of it, we may not stop hearing about him anytime soon, even with Lonzo now in the NBA as opposed to the NCAA. The Lakers’ selection of Lonzo Ball with the 2nd overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft is what literally all LaVar haters wanted NOT to happen. Well, it happened, and now we have to deal with the consequences.