LaVar Ball sets a bad example for athlete’s parents



UCLA’s Lonzo Ball during the NCAA Tournament South Regional semifinal on Friday. Columnist Saketh Vasamsetti believes Lonzo’s father, LaVar Ball, is stealing his son’s limelight and trying to cash in on his son’s success.

By Saketh Vasamsetti, Columnist

Magic Johnson and Steph Curry are widely considered to be the best basketball players of all time, and they have the credentials to prove it. While Johnson has retired, Curry is still pursuing ways to further his success. But there is one player who hasn’t played a single second in the NBA and has already been compared to being just as good, if not better, than both Johnson and Curry.

Lonzo Ball is currently a freshman on the UCLA men’s basketball team where he has become one of the most well known and highly anticipated players in the country. However, Ball’s performance and talent aren’t the only reasons he has been this popular this season. His father, LaVar Ball, is responsible for a large amount of Lonzo Ball’s fame.

LaVar Ball is the proud father of three basketball players who are considered to be of the highest talent in the country. But what he seems to boast more is the brand he has created for the Ball family with his company, Big Baller Brand.

The Ball family has recently been featured in sports news due to the many claims LaVar Ball has made regarding his sons, particularly that Lonzo is going to be better than Johnson and Curry.

He has also pulled Lebron James into the conversation, claiming that his sons are better equipped for success than James’ own sons, and has even requested a potential 1-billion-dollar shoe deal for his sons.

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While LaVar Ball’s overconfident attitude might be bringing his sons into the limelight, it’s also giving his company large-scale exposure. His heavy involvement in his sons’ futures highlights a potential problem of families with talented athletes attempting to cash in on commercial success.

His wild claims are also going to put targets on his sons’ backs. Many current NBA players have already stated that they dislike LaVar Ball and his overconfidence in his sons. John Wall, an established point guard for the Washington Wizards, said that while he firmly believes Lonzo is talented, many NBA players will be looking to put him back in his place.

The Ball brothers are known to have reserved personalities, and some believe that LaVar Ball is simply doing their own promotion for them. Perhaps Lonzo’s hesitance for self-promotion is what made his father step in to take the reigns, ensuring that he capitalizes on his son’s talent.

The Ball brothers are also advocates for their father’s business, frequently displaying Big Baller Brand apparel on social media sites and in interviews. In a recent article by Nathan Fenno from the Los Angeles Times, it was reported that Lonzo Ball was seen warming up before a game wearing Big Baller Brand socks, which is a clear violation of their contract with Under Armour.

“I’m not going to let the NCAA mess with something I’ve been doing,” LaVar argued. “This is my family stuff.” But it is, in fact, indirect promotion for the Big Baller Brand company that LaVar Ball attempts to frame as “family stuff.”

LaVar Ball needs to distinguish whether he is trying to create a family business or a business family. As his kids grow older, they will have the potential to find great success in both college and the NBA. Their father will say whatever he wants to say about his kids, but he seems to care much more about the brand he is promoting rather than the impact he will have on his kids. 

The talent in the NCAA grows constantly, and LaVar Ball sets a bad example of how an athlete’s parents should behave. By attempting to cash in on their children’s success, parents who think they are helping will add much more unwanted pressure down the road.

Saketh is a freshman in DGS

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