The Los Angeles Lakers entered a new era when they selected Lonzo Ball, the pass-first point guard out of UCLA, with the second overall pick in the NBA Draft.
Along with Lonzo comes the entire Ball family, which includes father LaVar, who is known for his oversized personality and bombastic comments. Earlier this year, LaVar raised eyebrows when he proclaimed that Lonzo was already better than Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry.
Most brush off LaVar’s claims as just another attention-grabbing ploy, but it’s hard to argue with his effectiveness. Curry recently responded to LaVar’s claims in an interview with Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer:
Curry laughingly said Sunday that calling Lonzo Ball better than Curry at this point in both players’ careers was a testament to LaVar Ball’s “insanity.”….Chuckled Curry of LaVar Ball: “I don’t know him at all. … They (the Ball family) are obviously unique and they are doing it their way. You can say a lot about the power in that. … And I think Lonzo wore my shoes. Hey, that’s somebody who wants to wear my shoes!”
While Lonzo did bring home a Las Vegas Summer League MVP, the notion that he is better than Curry, a two-time NBA MVP, is clearly not realistic. As Curry notes, it was just another example of the Ball family doing things their own way and generating publicity, which has helped bring their Big Baller Brand into the spotlight.
LaVar is hoping that, by producing their own shoes and clothing rather than signing on with a major apparel company like Nike or Adidas, all of the Ball sons will profit in the long run. It’s not an easy battle to fight but if Lonzo and brothers LiAngelo and LaMelo find success in the NBA, they could potentially take the brand to the top with them.