NBA commissioner Adam Silver joined Mike and his friend Mike on ESPN’s Mike & Mike this morning, where he spoke about the forthcoming NBA Finals, competitive balance in the league, and, of course, the basketball world’s slide magnate du jour, LaVar Ball. His son Lonzo will likely be a top-two pick in next month’s NBA Draft, and all indications are that he’ll end up on the Lakers. The point guard will not work out for the Celtics, and LaVar is on record saying that Lonzo will “only play for the Lakers.”
Ball has proven to be a rather difficult sports parent, who has criticized his sons’ teams and coaches at both the high school and college levels. Whether the institutional strength of a pro basketball team is a sturdy enough bulwark to stand up to LaVar’s inevitable media presence over the next few years is an open question, but Silver isn’t all too worried:
“I think here, if I were an NBA team looking at Lonzo Ball, I’m not sure how much consideration I would give to his father. I think ultimately the issue is, how much game does Lonzo have, how great a player can he be.
“I think his dad will invariably settle down once his son is drafted and a team has the appropriate discussions with him. So I’m not concerned about that,” Silver said.
One could interpret Silver’s comments as a mild warning. The kid will already have a target on his back thanks to his dad’s habit of talking the wildest shit about current NBA stars, and the sooner LaVar cools it, the smoother Lonzo’s development will be.
It’s become obvious than Ball is leveraging his personality to try and sell expensive shoes and apparel to First Take viewers, and it doesn’t seem like a sure thing that he’ll necessarily settle down once the draft ends. Lonzo’s success on the court will ultimately do more to determine his marketability, but his father has already shown he doesn’t mind embracing his role as a heel to sell some garish shirts.