IT’S been a while since we heard a peep out of LaVar Ball around Laker land.
If you haven’t noticed, that’s the point.
The outspoken, erratic father of Lonzo Ball used to be the talk of the Lakers franchise. Some called it a distraction, while others saw it as entertainment. His brash personality made him like a WWE heel, where he’d be happy to stand in front of the cameras and say one outrageous thing after another.
But that’s stopped, and all signs point to LeBron James as the reason why.
Ever since James — the best player on the planet, and the NBA’s most famous athlete — signed with the Lakers, Ball has effectively been in hiding.
Before the Lakers signed James, the team tried to put a ban on media outlets interviewing him, but that didn’t work out. On a recent episode of the Dan Patrick Show, the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Plaschke explained why it didn’t work, and why James’ presence means a lot.
LeBron’s hisorical loss0:00
NBA: LeBron James has become the sixth highest point-scorer in NBA history despite the LA Lakers’ loss to San Antonion.
Patrick approached the conversation, wondering aloud whether something was said in the off-season by Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson about his son’s future.
Plaschke said that had been the old tactic and it hadn’t worked.
“I think they even threatened to trade him, I think they threatened to trade the kid if the dad didn’t shut up …. I think what worked was LeBron James,” he said.
“He actually saw a guy who is bigger and (had) more status than (him). He didn’t think Magic Johnson had the current status among the sporting public to stand him down, but LeBron does.
“And I think LeBron’s presence finally shut up LaVar. And he got scared. He said ‘maybe the Lakers don’t have the guts to trade my son. LeBron’ll sure trade my son, so I better keep my mouth shut.”
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That sentiment seems about right. James has so much influence on any team he’s a part of, and frankly any city he’s in. He’s one of the only athletes in the world whose greatness transcends sport, so his influence can’t be understated.
Of course, James is also the person who’s single-handedly put the Lakers back in the playoff conversation.
There have been no feuds with Luke Walton — like we saw last season — or any ridiculous comments from LaVar Ball claiming his son is better than Stephen Curry, and we have LeBron James to thank for that.
Ball’s sons, Lonzo, LaMelo and LiAngelo are all up and coming basketballers with Lonzo the first in the NBA.
LaVar has previously demanded $1 billion in sneaker contracts for his three sons,
said he would “kill Michael Jordan one-on-one,” commented about LeBron’s kids struggling to follow in their father’s footsteps, and his claim Lonzo is better than both James and Stephen Curry to name a few of his statements.
Originally published as LeBron ‘scared’ outspoken Lakers dad
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