Lonzo Ball Will Fall in the NBA Draft
Growing up everyone remembers that one parent that thought they knew what was best for their child when playing sports. You know the guy that would yell the whole game and coached even though he wasn’t the coach. Rarely do the children of those parents end up becoming professional athletes, but we have a case of that in the NBA draft this year. Lonzo Ball is predicted to be one of the top players drafted in 2017. That still may happen, but there is a real possibility that he will fall down the draft board. The NBA has turned into a league where executives are going for high character athletes that do not bring many off the court issues. With that being said, Lonzo Ball seems like a fine person to build a team around. He does not showboat too much, seems quiet, and is a really solid player. Unfortunately, he comes with some baggage by the name of LaVar Ball. Here is why his father and his father alone, Lonzo Ball will fall out of the top 3 picks in the draft.
Big Baller Brand
Can anyone believe what is going on with the Big Baller Brand? This company was created as a marketing ploy to try to make LaVar Ball and his family a ton of money off of his kids. The company is exactly what it sounds like. They pride themselves in being for “Big Ballers” meaning people with a lot of money. Most college athletes are lucky to get a deal with Nike, Adidas, or Under Armor. Lonzo Ball just has his own brand. That is either marketing genius or marketing insanity. The signature ZO2 shoe starts at $495 and goes all the way up to $695. Are people willing to buy a shoe with a price tag that high for a player that has not stepped on an NBA court yet? The question is why would this matter in his quest to be a lottery pick? Well expectations. When it comes to NBA draft prospects, you don’t want to put too many lofty expectations on them. The NBA is a league where rookies will have hiccups along the way. If Lonzo Ball plays his best basketball, he will still have to adjust to the league.
Refusing to Work Out for Certain Teams
Nothing screams do not draft me like refusing to work out for certain franchises. The Boston Celtics are easily one of the most up and coming teams in the NBA. They have put themselves in a situation to be one of the best teams in the NBA the next couple of years. According to a report by Hayden Bird of the Boston Globe, Ball would not work out for the Celtics. This is a serious case of father thinks he knows best. Honestly, if Ball ended up in Boston he would be in an amazing situation with a team on the rise. Lonzo could be the superstar that Boston has been looking for since Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett left. The fact that he is trying to pick and choose where he goes is a big red flag. Teams will pass on Lonzo just because they may not want the headache of him refusing to play for them. Let’s say the Lakers decide to go in a different direction with the 2nd overall pick. That leaves Boston at the 3 spot; they will probably not pick Ball because he didn’t want to workout for them. Why would a team draft someone they are uncertain would sign with them? This may very well be an Eli Manning situation where he gets drafted and says I will not play for you. At that point there is nothing the team can do, but try to get the most out of a trade.
There is nothing like having someone as part of your crew that is looking out for your best interest. Well that person for Lonzo Ball is his father LaVar Ball. All of these issues have his fingerprints all over them. LaVar Ball is a former college basketball player that never really made it anywhere. He is the guy that is living his dreams through his children. That is fine, but he has to learn to keep his mouth shut. When you let the world know that your child is a better player than guys like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Russell Westbrook, you need to back that up. That is just ridiculous to say because those are three of the best players in the NBA. It is great to have confidence in your child, but do not be a distraction. Whatever team drafts Lonzo Ball will be in a tough situation. LaVar will be complaining about every situation that goes on. As mentioned earlier, there are growing pains in the NBA. Well what if Lonzo starts the season on the bench? LaVar will probably be out there talking to reporters about how his son should be starting. These are distractions that NBA teams do not need. The poor kid would be off my board completely, just because his father would create a distraction and atmosphere that is not conducive to winning.
All in all if the Los Angeles Lakers go in a different direction, it may be a free fall for Lonzo Ball. The only team he has worked out for is the Lakers. Some team will take a chance on him. If the Lakers have another guy in mind it will be interesting to see where Ball ends up. My gut says New York. The Knicks love to make the worst decision possible when it comes to acquiring players. Phil Jackson will draft Ball at 8 or worse trade up for him if the Lakers do not pick him. Then Lonzo will refuse to play for them. It is just a prediction, but stranger things have happened. It is too bad that Lonzo Ball may fall in the draft because of his father’s antics. The kid actually seems like a good guy and will probably be a pretty solid NBA player.