COLUMN: This 'Ball' bounces all over the place

Mark Spensley
Express Co-Publisher

     Every once in awhile a polarizing figure pops up in the sports world that captures our attention and brings us to the point of treating them to be godlike.

     I think of Tiger Woods, LeBron James, Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky as those type of athletes that entered their arenas with hype and worldly accolades.

     And these four exceptional athletes proved all the hype was true by backing it up with superior athleticism and championships.

     Then you have those that are polar opposite. They come with the hype but that’s where it ends. No special career. Maybe they end up in trouble. Basically they end their careers and never prove themselves to the sports world.

     Then you get a guy like LaVar Ball. He’s the father of future NBA player Lonzo Ball, predicted to be a top three pick in the June 22 draft.

     LaVar likes to run his mouth. Once he started talking about this and that he hasn’t shut up since.

     He claims he could have beaten Jordan in a one-on-one contest. He has started his own shoe and apparel company, Big Baller Brand, which he claims will be bigger and better than Nike, Adidas and anyone else out there.

     The first pair of signature shoes, featuring his son Lonzo, is retailing for $495 a pair. He is selling a pair of flip-flops at around $220. Basically this guy has done anything and everything to hype his brand and his family.

     So what should we all make of this guy LaVar? Is the fact that he is trying to upset the establishment a bad thing? All indications are Lonzo and his two younger brothers are great kids. And great players.

     When the Bell story is all but finished will we be looking at LaVar as another blowhard sports parent or will he be seen as a visionary guy who ended up being a marketing genius? Time will tell.



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