After months of non-stop talk and seemingly endless hype. It happened. Lonzo Ball was selected by his hometown Los Angeles Lakers as the second overall pick in last night’s 2017 NBA Draft. Just as LaVar Ball prophesied.
After comparing his own son to the league’s first-ever unanimous MVP in Steph Curry, the undisputed G.O.A.T. in Michael Jordan, LaVar pulled his greatest stroke of marketing genius magic—like that pun, eh!–in doubling down by proclaiming that the Lakers will make the playoffs next season.
Thanks to their pre-draft trade of guard D’Angelo Russell and center Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets, the Lakers have a ton of cap space and flexibility in being able to lure–and hopefully land Palmdale-born product in Paul George, currently of the Indiana Pacers.
If Lakers president of basketball operations and five-time NBA champion in Magic Johnson was ever able to foil his longtime frenemy and foil in now former Pacers president, Larry Bird in somehow finagling George from Indiana and still keep the Lakers promising young core of Ball, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, Brandon Ingram and ADD George. Lakers fans will be calling LaVar the second coming of Nostradamus.
Forgive me for having to type such hyperbole as LaVar Ball and marketing genius in the same sentence, but you gotta tip your overpriced Big Baller Brand hat to LaVar for not only talking it into actual existence, but using a form of stealth marketing in dropping BBB’s new Laker-colored sneakers for only $495 dollars of course.
Love him or hate him, you cannot help but hate-watch the walking-talking BBB billboard of 24-7 marketing, hype and social media savvy in LaVar. Look no further than his Lakers-colored BBB hat and gold tie, and you see a man, who has successfully leveraged and cornered the modern-day market of social-media driven Millennial sports fans.
It takes a special kind of person to famously go toe-to-toe—and win—a heated debate with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, it takes a rare breed such as LaVar who can be completely unapologetic in making such bold, brash and bombastic claims when talking about his own son being drafted by his hometown team, but it happened.
Proud papa, non-stop hype man and brash and shrewd businessman, LaVar Ball is part Donald Trump, Don King, Ari Gold, the late Muhammed Ali and Kris Jenner rolled into one multi-cultural, bi-racial package of flair, bravado and marketing savvy.
To paraphrase from a third-party acquaintance, but LaVar Ball is a businessman who decided to position himself as a “heel” for marketing purposes. It’s always all about business. Unfortunately, in today’s society the “heels” find large fan bases. Perhaps the most valuable and the undisputed glamour franchise in all off sports, the Los Angeles Lakers have a who’s who of Hall of Famers, 16 purple and gold-colored NBA championship banners and statues of Shaq, Magic, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, “The Logo” in Jerry West and longtime Lakers radio announcer, Chick Hearn and notable fans such as Jack Nicholson and Denzel Washington.
How and where LaVar will fit in in this new Lakers world for him, his brand and his son, Lonzo, but make no mistake, from this point forward, wherever and whenever the Lakers are playing, LaVar will be as vocal and outspoken before the draft, and even more so, now that he has an even bigger platform with an an even bigger brand in the form of the Lakers to co-op with.
Businessman. Hype Machine. Proud father. Genius.
Yes, that is LaVar Ball in a nutshell, deal with it.