In 2017, things are different. In this capitalist society, maximizing your value is something every one of us should strive to do. In all honesty, we don’t want others to maximize their value. We want them to go through the “proper channels” and only behave the way we want them to. Most of us weren’t born with the talent to dictate our own financial prowess. Most of us work jobs, have managers, a boss that tells us when and where to be, how to act, and what our value is. I must admit there is something that rises up in us when we see someone “buck the trend” of business and/or sport protocol. When we see someone else have the power, instead of reveling in their presence or linking up with them to become stronger as a brand, we cut them down so they can be on our level. Sad is it not?
Lavar Ball is building an empire inside of an empire, which belongs to college basketball and the NBA. Lavar Ball has helped himself to any news outlet to profess the greatness of his three sons. Three sons. We loved the Mannings, the Gronkowskis, but we don’t like the Balls. Why? In a sports world in which a collegiate athlete is drafted to a particular team instead of being able to choose a team of their own, being able to dictate the terms is almost impossible. For Lavar Ball, he must be able to dictate what he can, and continue to push the envelope.
Ball has spoken on how he wants his oldest to play for the Lakers. He wants his son to stay in California, be close to home. That actually sounds like something that would be a great idea, knowing the further away Lonzo Ball is away from his father, the easier it is to be pulled from his influence. Ball has also spoken of building a brand with his sons: shoes, apparel, all the like. We know the competition with Under Armor, Nike, Adidas, Jordan and Reebok would crush the competition, but why not try to infiltrate the system. Every business out there is going to attempt to sink their marketing teeth into the Ball family, so it would be in Lavar’s best interest to do that himself.
As sports fans, we hate meddling parents. We want those meddling parents to stay out-of-the-way and let coaches do their jobs. Lavar has been slashed in almost every comment section there is for his interviews. We always say others should avoid the spotlight, so if there were to be a downfall there wouldn’t be so much damage from the media. Who can avoid the spotlight though? The same people criticizing Lavar Ball are the same ones leaving comments on ESPN or on twitter hoping someone of importance reads it. How ironic right? Don’t let the fact that the Ball family is better at basketball than most of us let that cloud our hopes for their success.
We keep saying the fathers of this nation are lacking. We keep reiterating that parents should be raising their children, not the system. We continue to tell our children they can be anything, and they do always have to go the regular route. If a relationship between a father and his sons is such that a father has the knowledge to navigate the sports business world, then we should all get behind the father and his sons. Leagues such as the NBA, NFL, and MLB make it almost impossible for an athlete to do their own marketing, or choose another brand that isn’t sponsored by said league.
Maybe they all make it in the NBA. Maybe none of them do. Who cares? What Lavar Ball has been able to accomplish up to this point is nothing short of amazing. We don’t like what he says or how he goes about it, but we cannot dismiss his accomplishments because we are too busy stuck in our insecure feelings.