Understanding LaVar Ball


Former Division II basketball player LaVar Ball speaking in hyperbole is fine, but only for his sons.

Ball, father of UCLA Basketball star Lonzo Ball, rising high school athlete LaMelo Ball, and future UCLA Bruin LiAngelo Ball, has been in the news lately for comparing Lonzo to the likes of Jason Kidd, Magic Johnson and even Michael Jordan.

The quotations, retrieved from ESPN’s Ian O’Conner, say an obviously false narrative about his sons.

When comparing Lonzo to Magic Johnson, LaVar said “Lonzo is more athletic than Magic, blocks more shots, and makes more steals. … Lonzo is Magic with a jump shot.”

“The way you compare him to Kidd is, he likes to pass and Kidd and Zo are light-skinned.” LaVar said when comparing Lonzo to legendary former New Jersey Nets Guard Jason Kidd “But [Lonzo] is taller and longer, and he’s got a better jump shot than Kidd. He’s more athletic in how he jumps and catches lobs back door.”

On the comparison of Lonzo to arguably the best player to ever play in the NBA, Lavar said.

“Michael Jordan is the greatest player of all time, but all three of my boys can go down as the greatest player ever. Lonzo is better than what Michael Jordan was doing in high school, and he’s better than what Michael Jordan was doing in college. … He’s only 19. He’s got to get past Jordan’s six titles and get to seven to be the greatest player ever, and I think he can do it.”

An obviously proud father has gained traction on the internet pages of many news programs and even got him a chance to argue with ESPN’s Stephen A Smith.

Understanding LaVar is easy, being a good father means believing your kids are the best in the world.

LaVar however, knows that the media will put out much of what he says. He is not a television analyst or bound to any journalistic integrity, so he can say whatever he wants.

Using the media as a marketing ploy to get your child’s name into every home before they get drafted, helps only Lonzo. Getting his name on your eye through an article or twitter makes you keep an eye on him during the NCAA tournament.

Watching Lonzo’s 14.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 7.6 assists a game (according to sports-reference.com) leads many to fall in love with 6-6 guard. Once they fall in love it adds fan pressure to teams to draft the Bruin earlier, adding jersey sales, making him more marketable for sponsorships.