You know the phrase, and what it used to mean, “showtime”, the Lakers, great players, great games, lots of wins. Tinseltown at its best.
“Showtime” might be returning, but not like you’ve come to know it.
The Lakers will select 2nd in the NBA lottery in late June, as the rebuild of this once proud franchise continues.
They will get another very good young player. First it was Julius Randle, then D’Angelo Russell, and last year Brandon Ingram.
They’ve all played, all learned, all lost.
But now with this next pick, they add another gem, an uncut diamond, in the likely choice of Lonzo Ball, the do-everything guard from UCLA.
As an added bonus, they get his father, the loudmouth parent from hell, LaVar Ball, the noise beneath the Big Top.
Oh this will be so much fun, for Magic Johnson and Luke Walton to deal with.
The player is a young talent, who excelled at UCLA in the lone season he was there.
Of course it ended badly, with their so called star, getting mopped up on the floor in the NCAA tourney. Last we saw, Ball scored 4-baskets in an ugly loss in the tourney.
Not to worry, like father-like son. As UCLA players wept in the lockeroom, Ball was laughing, joking, and announcing he was exiting school immediately, to go to the NBA draft, less than 15-minutes after his final missed shot .
The father is overbearing. Opinions on everything, whether you’ve asked or not.
Popping off that you ‘cannot win with 4-white guys on the floor’, referencing the UCLA lineup in that final tourney game loss.
This week, telling a female sports reporter to ‘stay in your lane’, and boasting how he fathered 3-boys, not girls, with the admission ‘I don’t put out no girls’.
He went after the national media, calling reporters ‘haters’ who wrote or spoke in negative tones about the family’s marketing plans for the soon to be super star.
His return blasts with mouthy Stephen A. Smith were fun to watch, maybe the first time in a longtime, Smith was left speechless.
He said his kid was better than record setting Steph Curry right now, you know the one with the NBA ring.
Of course, he created the $495 basketball shoes and sandals for his son, after blowing off the shoe companies in talks about endorsements.
The old man this week said if any shoe company wants to sign the son to wear the gear, it would cost them a 3B-signing bonus.
When Shaq O’Neal said the ‘Baller Brand’ basketball shoes were too expensive, pops popped off saying let the other poor kids buy Shaq’s or Steph Marbury’s lower priced shoes.
Now father says son won’t workout for anyone but the Lakers, after the kid did not workout at the NBA combine.
So the young Bruins guard is on a pedestal, according to his father.
Still to be determined, can he hold up against physical defenders? Can he get his chest-high jump shot off against fast twitch guys he’ll face? Will he be able to defend the explosive athletes he will meet night to night, since there are no Oregon State’s in the NBA.
And in the structure of the NBA, will LaVar Ball want to be at Lakers workouts? Will he be holding his own press conferences after games? Will he critique playing time, offenses and defenses? Will he become the distraction rather than his son being the show?
Who will have a bigger ego, the Lakers President, Magic Johnson, or the father of the son LaVar Ball?
This is going to be so much fun, unless somebody steps up and makes the Boston Celtics a blockbuster trade offer, and takes the lst pick, and then takes Ball.
The haters out there would love to see him in a place like Sacramento or New Orleans, the NBA equivalent to Fargo.
If he winds up staying on the board, the Lakers take him at the second pick, and then the fun begins.
A real different type of ‘showtime’ coming to Lakerland.
You draft the son, you get the father. Time to go ‘Ballin’.