Grading LaVar Ball’s Performance at the NBA Draft

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Over the last few months, LaVar Ball and his over-the-top sideline antics have made him the biggest name in basketball. Despite the fact that his son Lonzo has not yet played a single NBA season, LaVar has managed to overshadow the likes of Steph Curry and LeBron James with his Big Baller Brand and brazen claims about his sons being better-than-everyone. LaVar’s lived the past year on the assumption his son would make it into the NBA — more specifically get drafted by the Lakers — and not shutting up about it.

Well, last night, LaVar’s very cocky game of long ball played off when the Lakers selected Lonzo with the second pick in the NBA draft. But forget all that. The real question is how did LaVar perform on draft night? Did he continue to shine under the brightest of lights, reveling in the taunts of the haters and doing everything he can to support his son? Or did he drop the ball and fail to leave an impression? Here’s our assessment.

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Quotability

One of LaVar’s biggest skills is his unique ability to troll the world for his son, intentionally saying outrageous and, often, stupid things to make sure the Ball family name stays in headlines. Last night, he did not disappoint. LaVar declared that the Lakers will make the playoffs next year even though they had the third-worst record in the NBA this past season. He also made damn sure nobody forgot that he had been predicting the Lakers would pick his son for months, declaring to a reporter, “I told you. From the words of Zeus, Jesus, everybody said he gonna be a Laker.”

Controversy

LaVar, the man who declared he would beat Michael Jordan one-on-one, has never shied away from controversy. And it’s already becoming clear some NBA players and fans are not crazy about it — and are going to take it out on his son. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons of the 76ers both tweeted out their displeasure towards LaVar’s antics, saying they can’t wait to dunk on Lonzo.

LaVar also caught some flack from fans who booed him as he left the draft. Still,  LaVar managed to clap back by tossing his Big Baller Brand hat into the crowd and never looking back. A plus trolling.

Merchandising

LaVar’s Big Baller Brand immediately took advantage of Lonzo joining the Lakers, displaying brand new purple and gold shoes on sale just hours after he was drafted. The sneakers are being marketed as the same shoes Lonzo will wear on the court.

Outfit

Instead of rocking some classic dad fashion basketball shorts and a hoodie, LaVar actually dressed up, opting to wear all black. The Big Baller Brand tie and hat were a nice touch, but ultimately an underwhelming look.

Closing Thoughts

Is LaVar a selfish jerk whose arrogance will end up hurting his kids? Or is he a genuinely caring father who would do anything for them? Only time will tell, but for now, LaVar continues to be the most engaging parent in all of sports. And as long as he stays on LeBron’s good side, he should be a major presence in the NBA for years to come.

Final Grade: A-

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