LaVar Ball is as good at hyping up Lonzo Ball’s basketball skills as Lonzo is at playing basketball. Potentially even better. One of the potential problems with that, however, will be when and if LaVar’s braggadocio or willingness to trash talk other NBA players like LeBron James, Joel Embiid or Stephen Curry through the media begins to put a target on his back on the court.
So far that hasn’t happened yet, but another potential pitfall for Lonzo could be if LaVar’s comments cause him issues in the locker room. LaVar has already shown a willingness to call out Lonzo’s teammates when things don’t go well for them, but it sounds like Lonzo isn’t concerned about that.
“Speaking for my teammates, they already know how he is so it’s never been a problem, and I don’t think it’s going to be a problem,” Ball said during an appearance on the PBT podcast.
If LaVar actually doesn’t cause problems for Lonzo, that would be much better for the Lakers, and there does seem to be an increasing understanding that most of his boasting is of the tounge-in-cheek variety, that LaVar likes to “play the game.” Lonzo feels as though their Facebook reality show, “Ball in the Family” has helped with that perception.
“I get a lot of feedback on the show, and a lot more people are seeing the person that he really is,” Ball said. “I’m happy for him, I’m happy people get to see the person I have known my whole life.”
If the rest of the league understands that person, then they’ll understand the character LaVar plays appears to be mostly for a (very successful) marketing campaign. If they don’t, Lonzo might have issues, although it seems he’s at the very least confident he’ll be able to keep things smoothed out with the players in his own locker room.
Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.