LaVar Ball could be a headache for any number of NBA teams, but if Lonzo Ball gets drafted by the Lakers – which many analysts believe will happen – maybe it won’t be so bad.
Yes, certain markets have a higher threshold for drama – and Los Angeles is certainly one of them.
“I think the Lakers historically – and even now – they get it,” L.A. Daily News Lakers writer Mark Medina said on CBS Sports Radio’s Reiter Than You. “They’re in L.A. There is an inevitable soap opera, they want players to have a personality – that’s what makes the Lakers appealing. So I don’t think they’re going to get bent out of shape if LaVar is talking to the media and promoting his brand. I think where they will draw a line is they don’t want it to be a thing where he’s Monday-morning-quarterbacking Luke Walton or griping about his son’s role or blasting his teammates. If that happens, it’s really hard to have respect in the locker room – but because of that, I think it’s something that would be immediately addressed.”
It helps that Lonzo Ball hasn’t been affected by his dad’s outspoken, braggadocious nature. Even as LaVar dominated headlines this past college basketball season, Lonzo kept his head down and played spectacularly for UCLA.
“He was kind of above the fray of it all,” Medina said. “I think the feeling around the NBA is they think he can survive that because he is a good player, and, relatively speaking, he has a lot of maturity for his age. So when he goes through some of these rookie hiccups and the pressure, they think he’s well-equipped to handle it because he’s already done it so far.”
The Lakers have lost 55+ games each of the last four four seasons and haven’t won a playoff series since 2012.