In a short period of time, LaVar Ball has managed to keep the Ball family name atop or near the top of sports headlines. And the outspoken dad of projected top-three 2017 NBA Draft pick Lonzo Ball has accomplished that with a seemingly-endless ammunition of boastful — or what some would call delusional — statements.
A recently-retired Paul Pierce has been sitting back and watching LaVar churn this giant hype machine and he is calling Mr. Ball “The Truth” when it comes to marketing.
“I think that he is a marketing genius,” Pierce said about Ball while appearing on ESPN’s The Jump yesterday. “I mean, he has created such a buzz for his son. I don’t even know what type of person Lonzo is. So, his dad is creating his brand with his personality and he is creating so much energy around it that if you are the [Los Angeles] Lakers, you have to grab him. It’s going to create excitement for the city.”
Pierce added, “You got Magic [Johnson] back [as the Lakers president], you got a local kid who grew up right here, played at UCLA, starting point guard as early as next year … you’re creating excitement for the city.”
LaVar is banking on the Lakers doing just that and grabbing Lonzo with the second pick in the Draft next month. In fact, he is so hellbent on Lonzo becoming a Laker that he vowed that his son will only work out for the storied purple-and-gold franchise. LaVar also guaranteed that Lonzo will help the Lakers end their four-year playoff drought if they draft him. (No pressure, Lonzo).
As Pierce said, there’s no doubting the buzz that Mr. Ball has created for his son. Whether it’s good or bad is for you to decide and remains to be seen. However, by making statements such as saying the 6-foot-6 guard from Chino Hills, California, is better than two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry or setting Lonzo’s sneakers at a price point of $495, he has continued to keep the Ball family in the headlines. Just imagine how it will be if Lonzo becomes a Laker.
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(Photo from left: Michael Bezjian/Getty Images, Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)