It would seem that the Los Angeles Lakers are growing as sick of LaVar Ball as he is of them, and in that way they deserve each other and all the grief they mutually provide.
It makes a fella wonder, though, how this meddlesome dad act would play if Lonzo Ball had been drafted by, say, the Golden State Warriors.
And it’s not an issue of “well, what can he possibly say then?” LaVar Ball speaks whatever version of his mind is on his mind, and the central theme is that nobody is more important than his son, and nobody is more equipped to determine that than he is. He would talk smack about Steve Kerr if Ball wasn’t getting enough time or touches (and trust us, the old man is sure there is no such thing as enough time or touches for him).
And then he would demand a trade to the Lakers, which as we are seeing now is quite possibly the worst possible thing that could have happened for him, his son and the team. And I’m not entirely convinced that Kerr wouldn’t snap back, given that he is more of a redass than he lets on, and this would be a much weirder player issue than his occasional debates with Draymond Green.
This is of course not about Lonzo Ball, who is developing as a typical rookie should develop. He has as near as anyone can see not been disruptive or unhappy, and has gone about the work as anyone would have wanted.
But it has proven to be a naïve hope of Magic Johnson’s that LaVar Ball would remain mum to the matter of the team that employs his son. The only question to be answered is the tipping point when he becomes a fully corrosive element.
And it is equally naïve to think that he won’t be. This is not a generation that is particularly adept at ignoring the noise, as Bill Belichick of the newly noisy New England Patriots likes to say, and even if the other Laker employees don’t listen to LaVar Ball directly, the volume is too great to ignore, in the same way that you don’t have to talk to the guy running the jackhammer to know that the jackhammer is irritating.
Other coaches (well, Dallas’ Rick Carlisle) are now clapping back on LaVar Ball for savaging coach Luke Walton, and ESPN for giving Ball a vehicle. Rightly or wrongly, this will be the talking point of the next few days because news in the 21st century is an ouroboros, chasing its own tail in search of churn rather than truth.
But I’d much rather see Kerr handling this little problem, if only for my own amusement. The immovable force meeting the perpetual larynx would be a delightful diversion in this season of metronomic success.