Is Lavar Ball putting unrealistic expectations on his sons?

If you are a big time college basketball fan, then you have heard of Lonzo Ball. You have most likely heard of him even if you aren’t a fan of the UCLA freshman point guard, because simply put, he is a baller. He is a lock to be a first round pick in the NBA draft this year. I keep up with big time recruits and watch the All-star games when I can, and the mix-tapes online. I knew about Ball before he got to UCLA, and if you really keep up then you know that his two younger brothers are both also future UCLA Bruins. Their story isn’t new to the casual basketball fan, because it seems to circulate quite a bit through the media these days. These days, it is more about comments made by their father, Lavar Ball, than the boy’s actual play on the court. They Ball name is becoming a household name because the eldest Ball is the most outspoken.

There is nothing wrong with a father being involved in his son’s activities. Lavar Ball is anything but an absent father, which is awesome. He will literally tell you how good his son is, and he literally has. In the process, he is in the news more than them it seems. Is that good or not? It depends on who you ask. For me, I don’t think that is necessarily a good thing. He is obviously a great father, and you can’t take that away from him. He isn’t lacking in belief for his boys, which is great. At the same time, in my opinion, he is putting big time expectations on them that they aren’t guaranteed to live up to. It seems like these days the media seeks him out, because they know they will get a headline. I’m not a hater by any means, and if they are going to give him the time, he might as well get his shine on.

I just don’t understand that while he does that, he says his son is better than Steph Curry, who of course is a 2 time NBA MVP. I don’t understand why he says all of his sons will be one and done, because he doesn’t know that. His middle son, Liangelo, is the next in line to wear the UCLA uniform next season. Obviously, the kid can ball (no pun intended) but he is not as good as Lonzo. Is that a bad thing? No. It’s not at all. How many guys will ever really get close to playing at a big time program? The majority of us won’t. The chances are even more slim when you talk about guys making it to the league. I’m not rooting against them, because there is no reason to. I’m just saying that while Lonzo is a special point man and the obvious gem of a recruiting class that included another stud in T.J. Leaf. Liangelo Ball is a 3-star recruit, and he won’t be the best recruit stepping foot on to UCLA campus next year.

There will be two Mcdonalds All-Americans going with him (SF Kris Wilkes and PG Jaylen Hands) that are better than him at this point. Does that mean that he won’t shine and be a one and done player? No, it doesn’t. It just means that he certainly won’t be the best player on the roster. It’s not out of the question to think that they could have multiple lottery picks, but none of those guys is a Lonzo Ball type of player. It’s also not out of the question to think that all three brothers will make the NBA. It has happened. The Zeller Brothers- Cody, Luke, and Tyler….. and the Plumlee brothers- Miles, Mason, and Marshall, who I saw a ton of with me being a longtime duke fan, pulled of the feat of having other siblings in the league. It can happen with the Ball Brothers. Will all three of them be All-stars? Probably not. When does that happen?

I could be wrong, but I don’t think I am. You most likely can’t convince their father that I’m right, but that’s ok. I just wonder if he is putting expectations on them that might be too big, and in today’s brutal world, people don’t mind throwing the word “BUST” around if a player was “supposed” to be real good and doesn’t live up to it. I honestly don’t like that word. Even if you are projected to be a superstar and you only last three years in the league, then you will do more than the average joe ever will in basketball. Most people will never be good enough to step on an NBA court, so making it is an accomplishment. The money isn’t bad either I’ve heard. How many people will ever make over a million bucks playing the game of basketball? It goes without saying that it is rare, so it’s an amazing accomplishment even if you don’t end up being a hall of famer. You never really know how a guy will do in the NBA, but I think Lonzo ball will be a good NBA player. Is her better than Steph Curry? No. Curry has been there done that with college and has been dominant at times in the NBA. Ball hasn’t even played a summer league game yet. Can Ball be an MVP level player one day? I do think he has the potential. Why not just let the kid go out there and play though? I can’t speak for Lonzo Ball. I don’t personally know him or his family, and they certainly don’t know a no name like me, and the Ball son’s may not care what their dad says publicly, but why put such big time expectations on them, instead of just letting them get better and play?

                Recently, Lavar Ball stated that in his heyday, he would kill Michael Jordan one-on-one. Yes, those were his words. Michael Jordan’s Basketball career is well documented. I don’t even have to say all of the numbers and accolades. Lavar Ball, on the other hand, averaged 2 points per game at Washington State, and at 6-7 is only an inch taller than Jordan, so I don’t understand what makes him think he would’ve backed him down and overpowered him. As ridiculous as that sounds, I don’t know if it is worse than him saying he is looking for a packaged shoe deal involving his three sons that would be worth $1 Billion. Yes, he said that. Lonzo has potential, but nobody is going to give them that insane amount of money. They youngest Ball boy is only a sophomore in high school, so he would have to be out of college to cash in on that deal or he wouldn’t be eligible, and he won’t be a college freshman until the 2019-2020 season. Lonzo has potential, but nobody is going to give them that much money. His father certainly doesn’t lack in confidence for them, or himself.

                They would have to play pretty well to get that type of deal, and no one knows how good or bad they will be as pros yet if they all make the pros. Even then, people aren’t handing out Billion dollar deals. Lebron got 90 million before he played his first NBA game. That has proven to be money well spent. Players like Lebron don’t come around often, and neither one of his boys have that type of potential. Even if they were to get 90 million dollar deals, which they won’t, then that would only be 270 million dollars between the three of them. Certainly not bad at all, but a little bit short of a Billion. I think it’s cool that he has so much belief in his sons, but I think it’s a little ridiculous that he says such unrealistic things. In my opinion, he should just let them play and see how things turn out. It should be about them and their play and not his outlandish statements.

                There is nothing wrong with wanting to build a brand, and once you hit the pros it is a business, but if they all make it and sign 5 million dollar contracts, that should be considered a huge success, because how many people will actually accomplish that? You don’t need a Billion dollars, and if you ask for that amount at least let your sons make the big leagues and show something first. I can’t speak for the Ball boys, but I would think that their main focus is just playing ball and getting better, and that is the way it should be. I can’t tell the guy how to raise his kids, but you know what they say, opinions are like (you know what), everyone has one. That, my people, is mine.


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