The easiest thing ever would be to roll in this morning, crack open the mic, play sound from Lonzo Ball’s dad, rip into him, and then open the phones. I could do that, put my feet up, and call it a day.
But I’m not going to do that. Because it’s tired. Talking about him is as tired as him talking. Because last night wasn’t about him, it was about his son being drafted number two overall by his hometown team, the Los Angeles Lakers.
Imagine being a point guard from LA and being drafted by Magic Johnson? A truly awesome moment for Lonzo. Or it should have been.
But instead, his father made it about himself. Again. Because of course he did. That’s what he does. It was the most predictable thing of draft night. Even more predictable than the cutaways to fans popping their jerseys and celebrating picks of players they’d never heard of. There was no way last night was just going to be about Lonzo. That would have been impossible.
Honestly, I don’t have a problem with Old Man Ball rolling in there with a necktie with his terrible logo on it. And I don’t even have a problem with him having his son throw on a pair of custom kicks that looked like tricked out nurse’s shoes – although, if you’re going to unveil the shoes in June, maybe you have them ready before next February. But that’s your business and while it’s lame, I’m not going to get involved.
Nor am I going to replay the stupid stuff he was spewing. Because everyone saw it. Everyone including Ben Simmons who tweeted: ‘Crazy pills’
Joel Embiid retweeted that with: ‘Please dunk on him so hard that his daddy runs on the court to save him.’
And that’s the problem. Pops mouth is writing checks his son will have to cash. It was one thing when the old man was saying that he could beat Jordan, it’s quite another when other guys in the league are saying how much they want to dunk on the kid because of how his father acts.
I’m not here to hate on the Ball family. Last night was an awesome night. What father wouldn’t be busting out of his suit with pride if his son was taken in the NBA draft, let alone second overall to the hometown team and an iconic franchise like the Lakers? Hell, if one of my sons did that, I’d probably break out the worst tie ever also.
But that’s enough. The plan, the strategy, everything that the old man has been doing has worked. Last night was it. The culmination. Mission accomplished. Your whole plan worked. Now stop. Please. It’s overshadowing a player who Lakers GM Rob Pelinka called: “just a transcendent talent. There’s something very, very special about his basketball abilities.” That should be the story, not anything else.
The best way you can help Lonzo and your brand is to let Lonzo be the brand. Nobody’s going to buy those shoes because some 48-year-old dad who scored a bucket per game 30 years ago wears them. They’ll buy them because Lonzo wears them. They aren’t going to think the shoes are cool because they think you’re cool, they’ll think the shoes are cool because Lonzo’s cool. And because he can ball. So let him ball. The word is that the old man wasn’t a problem at UCLA, good. Don’t be a problem now, either.
Now it’s time to step back and let Lonzo do his thing. This isn’t about you anymore. It’s about your son now. I’d say it was fun while it lasted, but it wasn’t. The ride is over, just get off. Beat it.