Too Much Pressure
The only story about NCAA Division I basketball, even with the upcoming March Madness, is about an individual. This individual is not a player nor a coach, but a father.
LaVar Ball is publicly discussing his son’s future and in my opinion, not helping his son. Earlier in the month, LaVar announced that his son is currently better than the two-time MVP Steph Curry. Confidence in a child is common for parents and often helps them succeed; however, too much pressure can negatively affect the child with a strong sense of underachievement.
LaVar Ball’s son, Lonzo, is a projected top-five pick in the upcoming draft which is an achievement in itself, but this does not guarantee success. Only two players since 2011 that were drafted in the top-five have been selected as an NBA All-Star. These teams most likely have early draft picks due to their poor record the previous year, so the pressure to rebuild these teams is heavy enough for drafted players.
Earlier this week, LaVar announced that his son “will only play for the Lakers” and highly discouraged other owners and GMs (that are not the Lakers) to draft him. We have seen parents protect their children before, as Archie Manning said he didn’t want his son to play in San Diego. Protecting is different than requesting. It is understandable for a parent to protect a child when they spent their whole life perfecting their craft, but to try and manipulate others (publicly) in order to benefit a personal situation is not a good look. Even LaVar realized this after being criticized and he attempted to revise his prior statement, but his revisions rather transparent.
Now, Lavar is not just searching for an endorsement deal for Lonzo: “I’m looking for a marketing and distribution deal.’ Branding. The only person doing that is (Michael) Jordan with Nike. That’s what we’re for. If Lonzo doesn’t sign with Adidas, Nike or Under Armour, guess what — I’ll sign the Big Baller Brand”. Ambitious.
I’m anxious to see how owners and GMs will treat this upcoming draft and I wonder if they will let LaVar Ball influence their decisions.