The NBA playoffs are here, which means random, not-really-related to anything movie tie-ins are BACK, BABY, and just because Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t make the postseason doesn’t mean this year’s tie-in with Denzel Washington’s “The Equalizer 2” wasn’t going to let them in on the fun.
The premise of this series of ads is pretty simple: Apparently Denzel Washington told “The Equalizer 2” director Antoine Fuqua that he “doesn’t do sequels,” sending the director on a quest to find an NBA player (for some reason) to fill his spot.
Sunday’s game saw the debut of the ad featuring Ball, and the result was actually pretty funny!
Merch on merch on merch.— NBA (@NBA) June 4, 2018
See if Lonzo’s plan to get cast in #TheEqualizer2 pays off during the #NBAFinals on ABC and watch #TheEqualizer2 in theaters July 20th. pic.twitter.com/VpBLatCWPk
Ball has a lot of experience in front of cameras for his “reality show,” so maybe this shouldn’t be too surprising, but he actually has some acting chops. His comedic timing was solid, and his willingness to poke fun at and satirize his family’s reputation for trying to wring every last dollar out of everything they do has been at the source of the best advertisements of his young career so far.
Doing ads like this and being willing to wink and nod at the way many people see his family is going to be key for Ball in winning over segments of the fan base. After all, everyone loves a little self-awareness, and Ball seems to have a knack for seeing how NBA fans view him and an openness to subvert their expectations with humor.
As with everything, this kind of stuff will only matter more once Ball and the Lakers start winning and more endorsements start rolling in, but for now, it appears that Ball has the talents to take advantage of those opportunities when they do come.
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