You’ve heard his insane claims about being able to beat Jordan. He left the negotiation tables when discussing Lonzo’s shoe deal with the major corporations. You’re sick of hearing his name and you hate seeing his face on TV. He’s an arrogant, loud-mouthed idiot, but LaVar Ball is smarter than you.
LaVar began to promote Lonzo Ball like Don King promoted boxers. He was loud, ostentatious, and provocative. In turn, you hated him. You wanted to see him fail. You love when commentators trash him, forgetting, all the while, that this is exactly what LaVar wanted.
He wanted the hype. He wanted the publicity. He wanted to build his son up so even when Lonzo showed up somewhat out of shape to train for the Lakers, the Lakers still had no choice but to draft him. The talk around the league was that the 6’6” point guard was a “once-in-a-generation” player.
Both Markelle Fultz and De’Aaron Fox outplayed Lonzo in college, and the hype surrounding both of those players was nowhere near what the young Mr. Ball received. DeAngelo Russell, a former 2nd overall pick, was traded to make room for Lonzo to be the point guard of the future for the Lakers. This is all thanks to the media storm the Ball patriarch created.
The amount of free publicity that the Elder Ball gives his son in the sports world is tantamount to the heap of coverage Trump gets for being incompetent. Ball famously walked out of his shoe deal meetings… wait, Lonzo’ s shoe deal meetings… when his demands that they pay him $3 billion for his brand were rejected. It turns out this moronic, half-witted strategy might have an upside at some point. Lonzo is the most publicized NBA prospect since LeBron, and all eyes are on him. Attention translates into a market. A market translates into dollars.
Don’t believe it? Try this. Next time you’re in a gym in Northern California, see how many kids have the Curry Under Armours or the KD Nikes, then take a trip to the courts in Los Angeles and ee how many people wear Kobes.
Say all of this falls through and Lonzo is a bust (however unlikely it may seem at this point). LaVar still gave his own brands, his training and his attire line, exposure on a national platform. He’s covered all of his contingencies.
LaVar is willing to take on the hate and be the villain for his financial future. The media played right into his hand and discussed him into relevancy, and he will become a rich man because of it. Ultimately, we’re all just pawns in LaVar’s game.