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In January 2017 Lonzo Ball was positioned well within the NBA lottery on multiple Draft-centered websites. DraftExpress.com had Ball going fourth overall, and the website had Ball ranked fourth among its top 100 Draft-eligible prospects. NBADraft.net had Ball as its first overall pick, and Aran Smith ranked Ball fourth on his list of the top 100 Draft-eligible prospects. Chad Ford of ESPN.com ranks Ball second on his list of the top 100 Draft-eligible prospects.

All of these website also had UCLA, Lonzo Ball’s team making the Final Four. The top 12 NBA prospects moved up the draft board, except for markelle fultz, due to their NCAA performance. Dennis Smith moved down the draft board, but he tore his ACL in August 2016.
Lonzo Ball had a weak NCAA performance scoring 10 points, being outplayed in every way by Kentunky’s De’Arron Fox, 39 points, but Lonzo still moved up the draft board. Lonzo was going to be drafted and he is a big time talent. Some people were concerned about his awkward shot and his horrible 65 free throw shooting percentage but on top of those concerns came the horrible NCAA tournament, yet he still moved up the draft board.
Why?
In The Gym Range had Lonzo Ball going 5th overall just before the March NCAA tournament and strangely enough that is when Lonzo’s father, the outspoken Lavar Ball began making regular appearances on well-known sports talk shows like ESPN’s First Take and Fox’s Undisputed.

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In March 2017, LaVar Ball remarked that Lonzo was a better player than current NBA MVP Stephen Curry. By mid-March he was asserting that Lonzo was better than Jason Kidd,  LeBron James and Russell Westbrook. The memes and videos of Lavar’s appearances spiraled out of control. By the start of the NCAA tournament some draft boards had Lonzo as the #1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft. Meanwhile Lavar said that his son Lonzo was going to be a Los Angeles Laker, the Lakers had the #2 pick.
UCLA fell to Kentucky in the 2017 NCAA Division I Tournament, Lonzo Ball had two uninspiring performances in each game. Before the tournament T.J. Leaf UCLA’s Power Forward was projected in the top 10 of the NBA draft. After UCLA’s tournament performance some sites dropped Leaf to the 28th pick.
LaVar Ball said, “Realistically you can’t win no championship with three white guys because the foot speed is too slow.” After this causal sport fans began to question Lavar’s parenting skill and techniques. However, Lavar Ball was ratings gold and and must-see tv for morning sports shows. See the sports gods know that Lavar as two more very good basketball playing sons coming through pipeline. They were using him for ratings, but he was going to be around for awhile.

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LaVar was ready to handle any backlash thrown his way. Lavar knew that this promotion was tied to college basketball, so Lavar expanded his on-air boasting to include himself. “Back in my heyday, I would kill Michael Jordan one-on-one. He’s too light in the ass.” This boast prompted Charles Barkley to challenged LaVar to play one-on-one. With each appearance LaVar’s statements grew bolder, he said that he believed his three sons would be worth $1 billion for a shoe deal.
LaVar compared Lonzo to Magic Johnson and said his boy would bring showtime back to LA. There were circulating rumors that the L.A. Lakers wanted Lonzo and that Lonzo was a game changer. Most shows, articles and social medianites mused that Lavar had put too much pressure on his son and hurt his sons draft stock. In the tournament Lonzo Ball was outplayed in both of his match ups with top five picks at his position. Naturally, you would assume that draft boards would charted Lonzo (who was 5th) as losing ground to other top guards.

Lavar Savage
The big picture was that the NBA, the fans and the media want a light-skin toned ball player to promote. Lavar Ball was smart enough to realize that he was now part of the machine and his next moves proves it. In April, Lavar shifted from basketball and said that his family’s Big Baller Brand apparel company, would compete with Nike. The following week, Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas declined to sign an endorsement deal with Lonzo, according to LaVar.

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On May 4, 2017, Big Baller Brand announced its first signature shoes, the ZO2, with a retail price of $495 to be shipped on November 24. Shaquille O’Neal criticized Ball for overpricing the shoes. Dick Vitale took aim at the price by citing Lonzo’s performance against Kentucky at the NCAA Tournament. Social Media and sports talks shows were highly critical. Ball answered critics by posting on Twitter, “If you can’t afford the ZO2’S, you’re NOT a BIG BALLER!”
By now surely people had forgotten any remnants of NCAA tournament and Lonzo’s poor performances, but how could the man with the megaphone be sure…A week later he tweeted, “LaVar Ball: Lonzo Ball ‘Only Working Out’ For Lakers; Predicts Playoff Drought Ends With Son In L.A.”

Lakers

Lakers Ball

And on draft night the Los Angeles Lakers selected Lonzo Ball with the 2nd overall pick, and the fans rejoiced saying Lonzo Ball is the perfect fit. If Lonzo had fallen like he normally would have the Lakers could have traded down, gained additional picks and still drafted Ball. Lavar’s hype and the NBA’s need to have a lighter-skin tone person to train camera’s on prevented the Lakers from making additional moves.
After the playoff it was clear that the Celtics didn’t need a point guard and the other top point guards had outperformed Lonzo.

Lavar Is Trying To Get Off The Plantation

The Celtics traded the #1 pick. Magic Johnson said “Lonzo is the new face of the Lakers.” and then he signed him to a 4 year $33 million dollar contact. If Ball had fallen to #10 and the Lakers could have traded down, Lonzo’s contract would have been 4 year $14 million dollars…So Thank Dad.

Forbes NBA Salary List

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All of LaVar Ball statements and boasting elevated his son’s draft stock, an basically doubled his contract. The boasting also increased the spotlight on Lonzo Ball, increased the expectations and of course it has brought out the racist. I am sure that was a calculation by Lavar, get the psychos to hate him and not his son. Almost every negative commentary on LaVar Ball is about his parenting skills, his mouth almost of the comments are sprinkled with overtly or coded racist language.

The elder Ball has become one of the most visible figures in basketball due to his tireless promotion of his talented brood and his seemingly magnetic attraction to any microphone or camera pointed his way. The audacious absurdity of Lavar’s decades-long plan to get all three of his three boys to the NBA is exceeded only by the increasingly bold, eye-roll-inducing boasts that made him a one-man 24-hour news cycle.
Lavar raises the bar and his sons keep sailing over it, checking boxes, and stuffing their resumes with head-scratching feats, like LiAngelo 72 points and LaMelo 92 point games. Yes, all three brothers played on the Chino Hills high school national championship team, systematically destroying every scoring records they could find.

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LaVar toned it down during the NBA Finals, he even wore suits to his on-air segments while promoting his son’s $1,000 shoe (which are signed and come in a lighted case). He also claimed that he can’t play Jordan or Barkley one-on-one anymore due to he fact that he’s is ‘retired and now a CEO.’

People don’t even like Lavar due to his constant bombastic nature. He talks the way he talks to everyone, but when a women, especially a white woman is involved they call him sexist only because that’s the agenda Ace card to put him in his place. That’s how you turn all women against him, and that’s how you get his supporters to discredit him. You see the media used him as they elevated him, and they will use him as they lower him. At the end of the day Lavar is a Black man and Black men can’t behave as if they have no master, as if they set the rules, and they can’t talk anyway they want to white women…that’s a definite no-no.

Being sexist is easy for people to fathom, but believing that the NBA wants to promote lighter skin tone Black players isn’t. Although, fans do seem to accept that to sports shows must have two or three black athletes/ex-coachs/ex-presidents and one white person as the slave-mast, err moderator and that somehow little blonde hair, blue-eyed white women keep getting sports show gigs and side-line reporter jobs. not to mention how if you look really carefully that white sportscasters have their chair elevated, making the black ex-player commentator seem shorter…in hierarchy.

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Fans doesn’t want to believe that they just witnessed the NBA and sports media orchestrate colorism. We want to believe that these players marketability have nothing to do with it skin tone. To accept this we would have to also accept that we, the fan, the poster, the commentator, are apart of elevating lighter skin tone Blacks over darker ones, even if we didn’t notice.

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Instead of the NBA being concerned with the imbalance in conferences they are worried about racial politics. Here are some headlines from this years articles: “LeBron versus #TeamLightBright.”, “The Golden Skinned Warriors.” “the Splash Brothers look like they maybe have a splash of coffee in their cream.”, “Too Pretty to Play”
Sports Racial Politics

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“When i first met Curry, I thought he was white,” Kevin Durant said. He was the only one who said it out loud.
“I’ve never seen anything like that light-skinned dude,” Allen Iverson said.
“Steph is light-skinned, so they want to make him out to be soft.”- Draymond Green, Steph Curry’s teammate
“The Light-Skin Movement is very strong, “It’s Light Time,” Austin Rivers of the Los Angeles Clippers

NBA players, including LeBron James have taken note of this ‘light privilege’ and have questioned the sports media and the NBA’s quick promotion of Stephen Curry, all the way down to his little daughter Riley. Klay Thompson can play and Curry had a great year, but soon LeBron James was taking a backseat to Curry.
Exploiting people’s internal biases is a marketing mainstay, before Curry it was the Los Angeles Clipper’s Blake Griffin, who because of his skin tone had a ‘broad cultural appeal’, he was advertiser’s golden boy.
Griffin NBA’s Golden Boy

After Stephen Curry won the NBA’s 2016 MVP Award Lebron James said “If you do it by a year-to-year basis, I think sometimes the word ‘valuable’ or best player of the year, you can have different results.” Curry ignored LeBron’s chaffing and most people chalked it up to jealousy, but LeBron, like Kanye at the MTV Awards, saw what was happening and wasn’t going to let it go down without saying something.
LeBron Doesn’t Like Steph…

Over the last three seasons the Golden State Warrior have won more games than any other team. The Golden State Warriors are fronted by Curry and Thompson, dubbed the Splash Brothers and both are light skin toned men who can shoot. They have won two out of the last three NBA titles, but in the off-season everyone talks about the Lakers, but now the Lakers has its own light-skin tone to promote.

Shot mechanics…suspect, ball handling…suspect, passing…pretty good but don’t worry because of course Lonzo Ball will have a little help to make sure he does well. NBA Summer League games are packed and Facebook is producing a Ball Family reality show, maybe this Ball hype and the NBA seems to be more alive than ever, so maybe hype is all the fans really want or need. Los Angeles is a major market, this historic team returning to greatest will be a big benefit to the NBA, fans and the Los Angeles Lakers will lead a lot of story lines, and don’t forget that Lavar Ball will be along for the ride.

 

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There are no accidents

The NBA likes to populate the good white players to play in Indiana, Utah and Boston. Right now the NBA is planning to separate Klay Thompson to another team, so this promotion will spread, rumors are already circulating.

The concert begins

on wood, dirt, blacktop, concrete

even packed snow.

Participants come in all shapes,

sizes and colors.

From all walks of life they come,

They come to show their affection,

Their love.

Do You have the love?

Center stage is 96′ by 50′

The performers are chosen

and take their places.

All eyes follow the orange sphere.

Running, spinning, leaping

Grunting, sweating, passing

Execution, chants, shouts

Breakaway! Explosive.

Timeout…

Do you have the Love?

Offense is Learned,

Defense is pure hard work

Can you feel the ebb?

The flow?

The Momentum of game one

with 81 more to go.

Old, New, Schooled

Post up, cross over

Black Mamba take over

Pull up jumper,

Power, Finesse.

The score is tied, 16 seconds left,

can’t rest.

Slam, Bank, Luck, Skill

Inside, Outside

Block, Steal

Cheers rain down from the sky

Cameras flash from nowhere,

Posterize.

Do You have the Love?

Penetrate, fake, jab step

hang time, pass dish

don’t foul, rebound,

fast break, barely miss.

Half court trap, or full court press?

Triangle, Isolation… Wrong guess.

Step back Three silence

…swish.

Beautiful.

I Love This Game.

MG Hardie © 2010