People who are still not sold on the new “Ball Era” may need to finally come to terms with the inevitable. The narrative of basketball brothers destined to become NBA superstars is unfolding right before our eyes. And with a new reality show, we get an even closer look into the Ball family and the marketing genius that is LaVar Ball.
The first two episode of “Ball In The Family” made its debut on Facebook at the end of August. And to be frank – it’s actually worth watching. From the looks of it, the Ball family have been filming for some time. The first episode introduces the prodigal brothers and their braggadocios father that’s helped shaped them to become the players they are today. Instantly, the show dives right into the most obvious question about the Ball family, “Is Lavar really that crazy?”
The answer is yes, and no. Yes he’s crazy in a sense that he has an unwavering belief in his sons and their talents that he’s willing to bet his bottom dollar to back them up. However, the underlying theme is at the end of the day Lavar is just a doting dad that’s making the most of what his sons can do on and off the court.
Now that that’s out of the way, here’s the deal. Lonzo (the eldest son) is in his rookie season with the Los Angeles Lakers. Not only is he a rookie, but he’s also been dubbed the new face of the organization. The pressure he’s facing is of major proportions; what better time than to stick a camera in his face during the process — right?!
If you’ve watched Lonzo play or even speak during press conferences, it’s common knowledge he has the personality of a box of rocks.
At least in front of the camera, but off the court (and around familiar faces), Lonzo actually seems like a funny guy who’s aware that he has a lot to lose. A side that rivals his usual, unfazed, neutral temperament.
The show doesn’t touch very much on LiAngelo (Gelo for short), and with reason. He’s going into his freshman season with UCLA and the NCAA is watching and waiting for some sort of chargeable offense.
LaVar’s much smarter than that (at least for now). Gelo makes a few appearances but for the most part, don’t expect to see a whole lot of the brother Lavar calls “the sex symbol” of his sons.
Now LaMelo, the youngest and the flashiest of all three brothers; he’s all over the show, quick with his one-liners and playful demeanor. His antics and development will probably be the most chronicled throughout the season. He’s only a junior in high school and is playing without either of his brother alongside him for the first time in a long time. LaVar outright mentions that he likes that LaMelo “tests him.” In a clip, LaVar rips Melo for not being the player his brother (Lonzo) is. His development will be key to the show and the Ball’s final piece of history.
Their mother, Tina, who had a severe stroke back in February, is undergoing rehab and adjusting to her new life and the life of her sons. LaVar plays a heavy role in her getting better, in the show he boastfully turns away speech and rehab therapists to spearhead Tina’s rehabilitation on his own. Which seems to be working, just four months after her stroke she’s walking and pronouncing a few words. The relationship between Tina and LaVar humanizes LaVar and shows off his softer, gentler side.
Honestly, this family is made for television. They have all the components that can not only entertain an audience but keep them coming back for more. At this point it’s no longer a matter of “if” but more so, just how big their brand will grow? Either way, it’s evident Lavar is up for the challenge of turning the naysayers into believers:
Move over Kardashians — it’s a whole new ball game.