Taking an unpopular position on a polarizing figure can sometimes be fun if the context is less serious than it is made out to be by the media. LaVar Ball is undoubtedly one of the most outrageous and hilarious figures in recent sports history, and people either love him or hate him. But even if you get caught up in the unpredictable Ball family drama, the three things that matter most to LaVar come through consistently: family, loyalty and success.
Whether he is talking about his own aptitude or that of his kids, the man absolutely radiates confidence. Everyone remembers him saying he could “kill” Michael Jordan one-on-one back in his heyday. And before Lonzo has even played his first game, LaVar said Lonzo could take on the two-time MVP. If you can get over your first, “Is this guy for real?” reaction and just go with what he is saying, LaVar is incredibly funny and, more importantly, effective.
We can laugh at him all we want, but sometimes the man is right. In February, he asserted his son would only play for the Los Angeles Lakers.
A few months later, the Lakers selected Lonzo with the second overall pick. The Big Baller Brand (BBB), headlined by Lonzo, has the potential to be huge considering you probably know the name of LaVar’s son who hasn’t even played in college yet. The Ball brothers, Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo, could all be in the NBA together in the near future. Although expectations are high, if the boys can perform it will take off.
Being a part of the Big Baller Brand, an extension of the Ball family, can come with rewards. LaVar takes care of his own, and he recognizes loyalty. When his handyman’s truck broke down, LaVar bought him a brand new one, bringing the man to tears.
However, if you throw shade at the BBB, watch out. He does not discriminate on who he attacks, be it Charles Barkley or (perhaps most famously) Kristine Leahy. When Ball appeared on “The Herd” with Colin Cowherd, Leahy went after LaVar’s Big Baller Brand for not marketing to women. Ball famously responded “you are a hater” and warned her to “stay in [her] lane.” Ball does not hold back on speaking his true opinion in any scenario. He wants the best for his kids and stomps on anyone who disrespects the name of the Big Baller Brand.
Many of his actions are exaggerated for attention, a skill LaVar has cultivated and perfected over the past few months in the limelight. Usually, the message he sends is sincere but the delivery and phrasing is intentionally absurd. Next time you see LaVar Ball on your television screen, try not to take what he is saying seriously because he is an amusing media personality just like Stephen A. Smith and anyone on Fox or CNN. He knows how to pull your strings and is doing it on purpose. Instead, just go along with it and try to laugh with him. Trust me, when the cameras go off and he’s back at the Big Baller mansion, he’s laughing too.
Contact Eric Fishbin at [email protected]