This is going to be very dramatic, so buckle up.
Remember when Jesse is in the hospital after Hank beats his ass and Walter offers him a 50-50 split of the Fring money to be partners and he turns it down? He says “I am not turning down the money. I am turning down you!”
Well, imagine me beaten to a pulp sitting in a hospital bed as I say this next part all Pinkman-like. Makes it more dramatic.
I don’t dislike LaVar Ball. I dislike Lonzo Ball.
As the Celtics prepare to play the other projected top pick on whom they passed, the Ball family finds itself in the news yet again. This time it’s over LiAngelo Ball’s arrest in China for shoplifting. What an idiot.
And “idiot” is a term that’s been thrown around a lot regarding basketball’s brashest family. Usually, it’s slapped on father LaVar, the guy who, in addition to selling overpriced trash shoes and talking ragtime in front of just about any camera that’s been stuck in front of him, may or may not have gotten third son LaMelo’s high school coach fired.
Yet if LaVar’s an idiot, I don’t care. He’s background noise we’ve chosen to put in the foreground. As far as I’m concerned, he’s no worse than Cheryl Hines’ character in “A Bad Moms Christmas.” He’s a parent who loves his family so much that it’s literally the only way he spends his time. He’s out of control, sure. But he’s not hurting anybody.
My issue is with Lonzo, who’s also not hurting anybody, but is the actual main event here. He’s the reason any of us have even heard of LaVar. And if we’re going to care about anyone doing dumb stuff, it’s the actual player. And I’ve got my eye on Lonzo.
Here’s what Lonzo has done so far:
- Sucked at basketball (more on that below).
- Actually fixed his mouth to say Future was better music than Nas and that Nas wasn't "real hip-hop."
- Was part of this iconic photo.
My next tattoo pic.twitter.com/tDj8nTKGQD— DJ Bean (@DJ_Bean) October 20, 2017
I take more offense to Lonzo disrespecting Nas than I do LaVar and his winning smile acting like Lonzo played well in the first game of the season. I take more joy in watching Patrick Beverley stand over a defeated Lonzo than I do watching LaVar be proven wrong for the billionth time. So if we’re going to trash anyone, let’s go with the guy who matters here.
As for the actual basketball part (boring), I’m invested in seeing whether all of this is too big for Lonzo: The hype, playing for his hometown Lakers, knowing that opponents are gunning for him. So far, the Lakers are good in spite of Lonzo’s struggles (he is shooting under 30 percent lmaooooooooooo), as 22nd overall pick Kyle Kuzma has been the Lakers’ best rookie.
If Lonzo does amount to anything as a player, that will be a good thing. The Celtics-Lakers rivalry will have its next duo, as Ainge chose to go with Tatum over Ball. You can focus your efforts on rolling your eyes at the dad, but you’ll be missing the point.
[Also, that Foot Locker commercial with Lonzo wasn’t funny and I lost all respect for anyone who pretended it was.]