By Michael Hebert @M_ABear55
Lavar Ball, at this point in his life, is more than just a father.
He has transformed himself into working manager for his three sons–namely current UCLA freshman basketball player Lonzo Ball.
For the most part, Lavar means no harm. He wants the best for his sons– Lonzo, LiAngelo, and LaMelo Ball. The patriarch’s main goal is to have them succeed in their respective careers.
However, Lavar struggles with finding the right balance as a supportive father and a budding business mogul. Media attention has started to follow him as he boisterously began to promote his son Lonzo, who declared for the 2017 NBA Draft.
Lavar has also started to promote his brand, Big Baller, which he acquired a trademark for back in 2016. This promotion could ultimately hinder Lonzo rather than help him.
It’s likely Lonzo will go in the top-five of this year’s draft. However, the UCLA guard will also face the NBA’s best players with a huge target on his back.
In my opinion, this target has nothing to do with him and more about perceived backlash from his father’s social presence.
The Los Angeles native is out of Chino Hills High School and powered a UCLA team that ascended from below .500 in 2016 to a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA tournament. Many scouts perceive that Lonzo is a premier talent and one that will be sought after by several NBA general managers.
Yet, that one nagging problem remains. His father, Lavar, is not afraid to speak his mind and challenge all basketball purists along the way.
“Back in my heyday, I would kill Michael Jordan in one-on-one,” Lavar said to USA TODAY sports.
That claim, along with many others, brought a lot of attention upon the Ball family, and not all of it was attention that one would like.
In reality, the numbers tell a different story. As a Washington State grad, Lavar averaged 2.2 points and 2.3 rebounds for the Cougars in 1987-88.
Despite his beliefs, Lavar Ball couldn’t beat arguably the G.O.A.T, Michael Jordan, in a game of one-on-one. In fact, recent leaked video evidence shows Lavar struggling to keep up in a pickup basketball game.
Lavar’s self-promoting isn’t what hurts the Ball family. It is what he says about his sons. Lavar has gone so far to say this his son [Lonzo] is better than Stephen Curry and will only play for the Lakers.
Although he has backed from the latter statement, Lavar is not making his son Lonzo’s next chapter in his career an easy one. He has angered Lebron James and proclaimed that his sons are better set up for success than Cleveland’s top man.
Honestly, the last person that you want to anger in terms of the game of basketball is the King himself–who has spent his entire adult life as one of the top players in the world.
At the end of the day, Lavar’s outlandish comments probably won’t affect his son Lonzo’s draft status. It probably won’t affect his other two son’s college choices.
But it will continue to bring attention to the family, which happens to be a double-edge sword. Lavar will be remain relevant but Lonzo Ball will also carry extra baggage.
Something that could be too expensive for NBA teams to handle.