Despite his struggles and pedestrian stat line, Lonzo Ball isn’t an awful NBA player. But, his performance to date barely justifies a first-round draft pick, certainly not the #2 he was. Anyone can see that he would have benefited from another year playing college ball. That is, if UCLA would have even wanted him and his ridiculous father back.
LaVar Ball represents everything that is wrong with not only sports parents, but everything else in this country. He is a talentless self-promoter who is more concerned with his own unjustified celebrity than in his children’s success.
LaVar’s delusions of personal grandeur are well-known by now. He claimed he was a better player than Michael Jordan. He also said he was a better tight end in his brief NFL-Europe career than Gronk. And, he asserts at every turn he can coach better than Steve Alford at UCLA or Luke Walton with the Lakers.
He famously criticized UCLA for surrounding his son with “slow white players”, following their loss to Kentucky in last year’s Sweet 16. After the game, Ball lamented that “realistically you can’t win no championship with three white guys because the foot speed is too slow“. Besides the obvious racist nature of the comment, we should recall that in the game Lonzo was awful. He went 4-10 from the field for 10 points and the guy he was guarding, De’Aaron Fox, put up 39 of Kentucky’s 86 points.
And, of course, there was this timeless classic from his appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd in which he redefined misogyny.
For all his many flaws, LaVar Ball did a great job marketing Lonzo to the NBA. He somehow managed to convince the Magic Johnson and the Lakers that Lonzo was something more than an average talent. That takes skill.
Prior to the draft, as he negotiated his way to getting Lonzo picked number two by the Lakers, he assured Magic that his behavior was all an act. It was marketing for his Big Baller Brand and promotion for his kids. Now that Lonzo was in LA, LaVar would tone it down and focus on LaMelo and LiAngelo.
Considering that he continues to run his mouth criticizing Coach Walton and that the Lakers had to institute the “LaVar Rule” to keep microphones away from him in the aftermath of games, it’s pretty obvious that he has not toned down.
Ball can’t control himself. This is a man who thought he would win a Twitter war with Donald Trump. It’s obviously a psychosis, but it’s mostly our fault. LaVar is a Kardashian. He has neither talent nor substance. He is famous for being famous. Sports talk shows over analyzing his every outlandish comments and immature actions merely propagate his fake celebrity.
Lonzo in Perspective
Lonzo, in a vacuum sans his ridiculous father, seems like an almost likable kid. Almost. To date, he’s averaging 8.6 PPG, 7.1 APG, and 6.8 RPG. Not bad for a rookie. He is, however, an abysmal 47% from the free throw line which might play into why the Lakers don’t want him on the court down the stretch.
Celtics fans, ever willing to take joy in LA’s struggles, take added joy from the fact that Jayson Tatum, taken immediately after Lonzo, is already twice the player Ball will ever be. At 13.8 PPG, 1.3 APG, 5.7 RPG, and 82% from the field and 52% from beyond the 3-point line, Tatum is the clear candidate for Rookie of the Year and a key reason why the Hayward-less Celtics remain in contention.
Tatum has always been a hardworking, quiet professional, and has risen to the challenge of the NBA. And, we haven’t heard a peep from his parents. Thank you.