One Big Baller Family
BY: RAHUL LAL
Cocky, arrogant, conceited.
Loving ambitious, motivated.
These are all terms that have been used to describe the Ball family–basketball’s most famous newcomers. Meet the cast:
Papa Ball, LaVar, has a mouth bigger than his 6-foot-6 frame and it spews encouragement for his three sons till journalists are tired of hearing it. Lonzo, the oldest, was selected as the second overall pick to his favorite professional team, the Los Angeles Lakers. LiAngelo, the middle child, is getting ready to start his collegiate career with the hometown UCLA Bruins and, lastly, the youngest son, LaMelo, is still in high school with his own shoe line and double the amount of Instagram followers as Halle Berry.
If this sounds like the premise of a light-hearted sitcom, that’s because it kind of is. On August 30, 2017, Facebook released the first episode of their new show documenting the life of the family called Ball in the Family. As strange as it may sound, this family has already pushed themselves into the upper echelon of the NBA world without having even played a single professional game between the four hoopers.
The NBA no longer just about basketball. It’s now a multi-billion dollar brand that includes just about every country you can find on a globe. Because of that, its players are now icons across the world. Whether it’s throwing something into a bin and yelling “Kobe,” watching LeBron James’ snapchat for the spoilers of the new Kendrick Lamar album or seeing photos from a fantasy football draft hosted by Chris Paul including celebrities like Jay-Z. How much clout do you need to have to call up Jay-Z to be in your fantasy football league? The Ball family is looking like the next generation of NBA media stars and it all starts with the head honcho, LaVar.
LaVar has often found his foot in his mouth whether it be by monumental claims pertaining to his own family, other players in the NBA and even some controversial statements regarding race and gender. While those comments certainly need to be analyzed, the statements made about his boys show a softer side. Some see them as overbearing and over confident but others view them as loving and displaying the ultimate level of support.
As LaVar will tell you, it’s important to preach success. In fact, he spoke his own son’s success into existence by making it incredibly uncomfortable for the Lakers not to select their fan base’s new favorite player. Now, LaVar and sons have created a clothing brand named Big Baller Brand which will feature top dollar prices for basketball sneakers. This is the first time we’ve seen players turn down licensing contracts from Nike, Adidas, Reebok, and others. When asked why, LaVar said that he wanted to invest in his own sons and create something bigger than success–pride.
Since this is real life and not a sitcom, sometimes it’s hard to ignore the ugly comments. When outlandish statements and challenges are made against NBA royalty like Michael Jordan, it’s tough to take them seriously but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something beautiful about the dynamic of the three sons and their dad.
Imagine being a father who never got his big chance at basketball’s highest level – now, you have three sons who are getting that chance. Wouldn’t you soak up every minute? Not only are his sons’ dreams being achieved but his own ultimate goal as a father, to set his children in a position to succeed, is coming into fruition. Who are we to judge how loudly he yells with a full heart?