LaVar’s got balls: The in-your-face marketing of one man’s son

I’ve been wrestling with this whole Lavar Ball story for quite some time now.

Generally, I enjoy writing about people we’ll never hear from again.  For example, do you remember when Cam Newton’s dad was making all the headlines?  No?  Well, how about Anthony Galea or Bennett Amalu?  It wasn’t long ago we thought these men would single-handedly bring down Major League Baseball and the NFL.  Lately we’ve barely heard a peep.

These are names in an old diary or better yet, items you put in a time capsule for posterity’s sake.  Throw ‘em in, pull ‘em out years later and ask “Do you remember when that was popular?”

Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen any time soon with Mr. LaVar Ball.  He is smack dab in the middle of his fifteen minutes and is making every second count.

In case you haven’t heard the name, and lucky for you if you haven’t, LaVar Ball is half marketing genius/half marketing buffoon who is making sure you know exactly who his son is.  You know how political incumbents win elections not necessarily because they’re qualified but because we’ve heard the name?  Meet the Ball family.

LaVar Ball’s son is college freshman-turned-lottery-pick, Lonzo Ball.  Baby Ball played his college ball at one of the nation’s most prestigious programs: UCLA.  There hasn’t been a day since March and even beforehand that we haven’t been talking about him, not for his actions on the court but because of his dad’s words off them.

Lonzo Ball, a point guard, has been compared to other point guards, Magic Johnson, who played professionally in Los Angeles, and Jason Kidd, who played his college ball in California, but let’s be honest.  Those two are legendary Hall of Famers.  Baby Ball is neither of those players.

In fact, in a league absolutely loaded with point guards, Lonzo Ball will have his hands full.  But we’re talking less about Lonzo Ball’s game and more about his father’s.

So far, and I’m probably missing a few juicy tidbits from the LaVar Ball timeline, he’s talked smack to Shaq, challenged Charles Barkley to a one-on-one contest, called LeBron a bad father and boldly stated his son would become a better NBA player than two-time MVP Steph Curry.  He implied his son’s team lost in the tournament because the white players on the team didn’t have enough foot speed.  He’s come out with a $500 sneaker line that bears his family’s name.  What screams affordable to inner-city children more than Big Baller kicks that cost half a grand?  If only Ball’s white UCLA teammates had had a pair.  He’s spouted out sexist comments to a female reporter in reference to said shoes and now that the lottery draft has come and gone, Ball says his son will work out only for the Los Angeles Lakers.

LaVar Ball has had a busy few months.  His personality is so perfectly suited for our reality TV mentality, I’m surprised he doesn’t have his own network yet.  I have to say, I’m pretty impressed with how we as Americans have handled Ball so far, our grains of salt firmly in one hand as we reach for cotton balls to stuff in our ears with the other.

With the draft approaching, the ultimate question is whether NBA GMs will think one son’s value outweighs his father’s mouth.  Think about it.  Can you see Ball sitting courtside at his son’s games, shouting at the refs for every bad call?  Can I get early odds on an arena ban?  His is an act that’s already grown tired.  Every local reporter will be fighting for the chance to stick a mic in Ball’s face to see what he’ll say next.

For varying reasons, NFL teams decided they no longer wanted Colin Kaepernick, Tim Tebow or Johnny Manziel on their rosters.  The attention they drew and baggage they brought far outweighed their performance.  Professional sports franchises are multi-million-dollar businesses and these are business decisions.  While the old saying goes there’s no such thing as bad publicity, the last thing any team wants is an opinionated loud mouth drawing the wrong kind of attention to the team.

This isn’t Richard Williams demanding greatness from his children, playing tennis with them for hours every day in the hot Compton sun.  Far from it.  Here’s hoping Lonzo Ball is working on his game half as hard as those girls did.

I’m no father.  I’m not telling LaVar Ball how to raise his child.  I’m sure Lonzo Ball is a well-adjusted kid who just wishes his dad would shut the fuck up every once in a while.  We’ve all been there, some more than others.

I get that LaVar has his son’s best interests at heart but when does serial meddling become detrimental?  Would LaVar Ball trade fame and fortune for his son’s greatness and does he think he’s the only man capable of making that happen?

Ultimately LaVar’s white men can’t jump comments will be forgotten.  His $500 shoes will hit the sales rack at a Marshall’s near you and Daddy Ball will just go away.  We’ll see if he takes his son with him when he does.  For if Lonzo Ball is truly great, everything else will take care of itself.

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14 Replies to “LaVar’s got balls: The in-your-face marketing of one man’s son”

  1. The guy sucks. A cancer on society. Let’s hope his kid pans out because De’ Aaron Fox just scored again on him…you know the guy better than him from Kentucky who torched him for 39 in the tournament. They covered each other too. Ball scored 10 and was dominated. I feel sorry for the kid having that clown for a father.

  2. D…

    I haven’t seen or listened to many interviews with the guy because, quite frankly, I’d rather stick a sharp stick in my eye that have to hear the guy talk… but you can see it in his kid’s body language.

    Like he wants nothing to do with any of this.

    I’d rather hear Lonzo talk to be quite honest. After all, he’s the one playing the game, right?

  3. Lavar Ball? Crazy as a fox. I always thought that selling your kids was illegal. Don King ain’t got nuthin on this entertainer except for $$. Ball is refreshing the way he toys with the sport media. Well almost……..
    Now the interview with Colin and female assistant. Lavar disrespected the lady when she questioned the amount of Baller sales. Lavar told her, “she was outta here lane”. Gutless Cowherd laughed instead of defending his co-anchor Kristine Leahy. She stood up well versus Lavar without Colin”s help.
    Colin got his start here in Vegas and still hasn’t learned the gambling aspects he professes. Prior to the football Gators bowl game he was telling his radio audience about massive wager he made on the total Gator wins for the season. He bet over 8.5 and was rooting for them in the O/Back Bowl versus Ia. He made a total fool of himself because the bet only involves the regular season. Gators won only 8. I reminded him on Twitter and was eventually blocked/deleted.

  4. LaVar Ball is doing more to harm his son’s career than be an asset of any kind. If ever Lifetime Network , the OWN ( Network ) or even ESPN to produce a reality show entitled ‘Basketball Dads ‘ , then Ball Sr would be the ideal candidate. This is the type of stereotypical bull$hit that tends to crop with an overbearing parent who has no idea what the hell they’re doing , while simply talking bull#%it and hurting the prospects of their child.

    I might be mistaken , but there’s no real consensus Lonzo Ball will be the top pick taken in the NBA Draft.

  5. Al…

    He’ll go top five… but what if L.A. decides they don’t want him?

    Who are we kidding? It’s the post-Jerry Buss Lakers. All they do is make bad decisions.

  6. This guy is a tool with an overactive pie-hole, but we all know who he and his son are because of it. If bad pres is good press, this guy is a goldmine. But a total fucking headache and loudmouthed douche bag too.


    Funny thing is, you don’t hardly hear a peep outta Lonzo. His dad must have done something right because the kid seems humble. Now if he could just muzzle himself.

    Get used to this clown because he’s got two more kids coming onto the scene shortly so his 15 minutes could turn into years….God help us.

  7. I’ve seen a million Lavar Balls when my 6′ 5′ white son was playing high level AAU. He’s just one of the few who’s kid is good enough to go next level – wish he’d let his kid be the show. He did his job, now let the kid pay him back if he’s good enough. Shut up already, I’m sure the kid would be thankful.

  8. Maybe….I don’t know.
    I’ve only seen two of Lonzo’s games in the tournament, but where there’s that much hype, there’s got to be at least some skill…But seeing him get worked over by D’Aaron Fox in his last game didn’t do him any favors in my eyes.

    He does seem to have a knack for making his teammates better and both Russell and Clarkson seem more like 2 guards to me, so getting a true ball distributing floor general would seem to fill a need…I just wish he was better on the defensive end.

    Tough call to begin with, let alone his old man’s chronic diarrhea mouth complicating things. I guess I’ll have to trust that Magic and Rob will make the correct choice with that #2 pick…Or that Boston leaves Fultz on the board for us…Either way, it’s another asset at our disposal. Whether we keep it or trade it, I’m just glad we didn’t lose it.

  9. His numbers didn’t come close to Magic’s or Kidd’s Bleed. I felt those comparisons were unfair.

    That being said, the kid shot a pretty damn high percentage from the floor. I think it was upwards of 57%.

    Clearly he won’t be shooting that in the NBA but that does tell me the kid has a knack for the high percentage shot.

    I think that fact that there is no clear number one in this draft (and probably hasn’t been for a few years) is only feeding into Papa Ball’s rants. I mean, why wouldn’t we take his kid number one if there’s no Shaq or LeBron or David Robinson in this draft?

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