We all got ’em.
Sometimes to our advantage, other times to our detriment.
Parents always think they know best, whether they do or not. Parents can be loud and outspoken when they believe they are advocating for their kid. Lonzo Ball is well-versed in having a loud, outspoken parent.
Now, I can relate…a little. My mother is extremely vocal when she believes she is right. She was my biggest advocate growing up (still is), always voicing to others my accomplishments and what I was capable of doing. One time in high school I wanted to take AP Art History, but it conflicted with AP Latin. The school told me that I couldn’t do it, so my mom marched down there and told them that not only would I take the class, I would also pass the AP test. A little context for this, AP Art History had only been offered at my school for a couple of years at this point and no one had ever passed the test. But that didn’t stop my mom, according to her I would pass the test. Surprise surprise, my mom won. I ended up being able to take the two classes (and I did pass the test).
As much as I love my mom for standing up for me, she is also the reason I tend to be a rather quiet person. Who needs to do all the talking if your mom is just going to do it for you?
Lonzo Ball is going through a similar situation. Except this isn’t a high school AP class; this is his career.
Lonzo Ball is clearly a very talented student athlete who will most likely thrive in the NBA. Scouts have been looking at him at all season and he is a projected top pick for the draft. But, his father, LaVar Ball, is starting to become the more famous member of the Ball family, or perhaps infamous is a better word. It is clear that LaVar Ball has always been extremely outspoken. As a quiet kid with a loud parent, I totally understand why Lonzo is seemingly so quiet to the media. I shudder to think what LaVar was like on the sidelines of his kids’ youth basketball games.
LaVar is clearly the type of parent who enjoys living vicariously through his kids. He was a professional football player in his youth who never quite made it. But lucky for him, he has three kids that will give him three more shots at celebrity status. And this time LaVar is not going to miss it.
He’s done everything he can to market his kids. I mean their last name is even “Ball” is that really a coincidence?? He’s even created a company that markets merchandise with his kids’ names on them. All three Ball brothers are known throughout the sporting world. Even the youngest brother, LaMelo, who is only a sophomore in high school, has made a name for himself, after scoring 92 points in a single game. All three Ball brothers have committed to UCLA, which as it turns out is actually a 3 for 4 deal because LaVar also seems to have committed.
But what if no one wants LaVar Ball?
At first Lavar’s color commentary during the basketball season was amusing. He told the media his kids are the best. They are better than Steph Curry, Kobe Bryant…you name a player, the Ball kids are better. But now, LaVar’s commentary is starting to anger people- people who have powerful positions in the basketball industry and can decide whether they want to sign Lonzo, LiAngelo or LaMelo. LeBron James is one of the most recent basketball players to speak out against LaVar saying he has no business to talk about James’ family. This is after LaVar told the media that he’ll be able to coach his kids better than James will coach his son. “Under promise, over-deliver” is clearly not the Ball family motto.
Poor Lonzo is the guinea pig in this whole situation. He is the eldest child which means he gets to do everything first. If his father messes up with his career there still two more kids that he can try to get it right with.
This may sound like good news for youngest son, LaMelo, but this is a double-edged sword LaVar is wielding. If he continues to be as obnoxious as he has been, by the time it is LaMelo’s turn at a hot-shot career, the NBA may just be sick of the Ball family altogether.
Is all of this fair to Lonzo (or any of the Ball kids for that matter)?
Lonzo is a great player. He has proven that. He’s going to get his shot in the NBA, if his father doesn’t mess it up for him.
At every point in a child’s life there comes a time when the parent finally has to sit back and let the kid do it on their own.
That time has come LaVar.
Lonzo has made it. He made it to a Division 1 college basketball team and now he’s declared he’ll enter the NBA draft. But only if you give him the chance to do it on his own. NBA teams will want to sign Lonzo Ball, but they might not want to sign Lonzo/LaVar Ball. LaVar Ball needs to gracefully bow out and let Lonzo take it from here. Somehow I don’t think that’s in LaVar’s DNA, but if he truly wants what is best for his kids, he will recognize that his place is in the stands…as a silent onlooker.