It’s easy to make a bad impression quick. Whether you’re showing up half baked to an interview or asking the girl if she’s gonna pick up the check before the appetizers hit the table on the first date, it doesn’t take a mind reader to tell when someone or something isn’t a good fit. Just like it doesn’t take an NBA Draft expert to tell the Lonzo Ball’s antics show he isn’t worth it.
Everyone’s expecting Markelle Fultz’s name to be called first overall in this year’s draft, shifting all the attention to the Lakers in the two hole. Fresh off the the announcement of this year’s draft order, and we’re already being shown signs the eldest of the Ball trio can’t be dealt with. Joel Embiid was still standing around trying to figure out what happened with the draft order when Lonzo announced he wasn’t going to work out for anyone but the Lakers.
Lonzo Ball to only work out for Lakers? He’s reportedly considering it
— NBA.com (@NBAcom) May 17, 2017
That makes life pretty easy for Boston, even if this was a ploy to “discourage” the Celtics from drafting him. Anytime a virus like that chooses to dodge you all on his own, you just keep your head down and move on. That’s exactly what Ball could end up being – a virus. He has as many NBA minutes as the person who delivered your mail this morning, yet he’s already picking and choosing what team he gets to go to. I’m not a “get off my lawn” type of guy, but that’s just simply not how things work. You don’t get to call the show before you get to the show.
So if you’re the Lakers, do you even want Ball? Yes, he’s still widely considered the next best player in the draft. Even if his shooting form is the grossest thing since Shawn Marion flicked shots from his chest, there’s no denying he’s a 6’6 point guard with a ratchet who can drop a dime from anywhere. Magic Johnson still may be cheesing somewhere at the thought of Ball choosing the Lakers as his bride to be.
“Find you someone that’ll make you smile like Magic Johnson” ? pic.twitter.com/flx1tJQ3gr
— Retin Obasohan (@Oballsohard) May 17, 2017
Still, it’s not time for LA’s brand-new President of Operations to get butterflies on his first player-crush like a 14-year old girl at the big dance. He wants to be a Laker just to remain close to home. Admirable, sure, but what happens when LA just lets a rookie walk in the door and call the shots? We’ve already seen LaVar Ball strut into places like a true WWE villain before.
LaVar Ball walking into the Lakers’ meeting with Lonzo. pic.twitter.com/fSxITHiQ22
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) May 17, 2017
The biggest issue here isn’t LaVar Ball. It’s easy to say he’s the one pulling the strings like the deranged puppet master he is. What happens if this is Lonzo’s call to only work out for LA, not his dad’s? Sure, we all have fun calling LaVar a nut job for selling the knock-off Kobe sneakers for $500 a pop, but what happens if this 18-year old has that sense of entitlement? Better yet, what happens if the Lakers realize this, and pass on Ball for someone that doesn’t share the same position as the player they drafted second overall just two years ago like Jackson or Taytum? We get to watch the fall of Lonzo Ball before he even steps on the court.
That’s going to be the most interesting thing moving forward. Just how badly will a team want a possible point guard of the future? Philly needs one badly, but why would they let tag team of LaVar and Lonzo take a bazooka to the process they’ve been building for years? They’d be better letting Ben Simmons take over at the point. The Suns already have Eric Bledsoe and Tyler Ulis and they have bigger holes elsewhere. Do the Kings risk drafting another possible toxic player? Or do we have the perfect dumpster fire match made in heaven as the Knicks scoop him up at the eight slot? Hearing Phil Jackson and LaVar bicker through the New York media would be as perfect as it gets.
It doesn’t just take talent to make it in the NBA. Sometimes your attitude is your biggest problem. No, Ball isn’t a prospect that’s going to hold up a liquor store or charge into the stands like the reincarnation of Ron Artest. He’s the kind of problem that could blow up a team from the inside. Think about Dwight Howard back when he got Van Gundy fired in Orlando. The only difference is, Ball’s dad is awful to deal with too.