Last week the 2017 NBA draft took place in Brooklyn, NY. One of the major subplots of the night was if Lonzo Ball would actually be drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers. For the past year Lonzo’s father, Lavar Ball, had been talking his son up and saying he was going to the Lakers, he’s the future and that he was going to do things his way. On Thursday night Lavar’s claim that Lonzo would be a Laker became reality. Congrats to the Ball family for the amazing accomplishment, but Lonzo’s true value may actually be worth more off the court than on it for several reasons.
1. Big Baller Brand (B.B.B.)
Lonzo is represented by his father’s independent brand, Big Baller Brand. Throughout the past year, Lavar told the world that B.B.B. was made for his sons and that it would represent his son. Next thing the world knows, Lavar drops merchandise. The merchandise was marked at extreme prices with $495 for the ZO2 by Lonzo Ball and $220 for sandals being the earliest released merchandise. These prices are extreme but they could create a shift in the culture. Lavar’s idea of B.B.B.is truly genius in that it creates an independent outlet for his son’s brand to grow.If Lonzo and his father have success doing things their way, it could open the door for more people to create their own independent outlets. The Ball family said so in their statement to TIME magazine, "We represent change, independence, freedom of creativity, and empowerment. Everything is not meant for everybody, and price is only a number. If it were just about the money, we would have taken the easy route, and signed the same shoe endorsement deal everyone always falls for." (Time.com)
2. Franchise Player
As stated by Laker great, Magic Johnson, Lonzo is expected to be “the new face of the Lakers, the guy who I think will lead us back to where we want to get to.” Those are lofty expectations for the 19-year-old point guard, but Magic does hit the mark in labeling Lonzo the “new face." The Lakers had been lacking that since Kobe Bryant’s retire and Lonzo brings that element to the Lakers. Having that player that fan bases can gravitate towards is always necessity in big markets such as Los Angeles.
3. Game Style
The last thing Lonzo should be able to affect is the way people play the game. Being such a prominent figure in one of the biggest markets in the country will come with a lot of exposure and press. This will lead to kids wanting to copy his playing style. A similar effect took place with Stephen Curry’s rise to stardom with shooting stroke. Kid’s saw the success he was having and have been shooting away ever since. If Lonzo can have that kind of effect with his passing, he could literally change the way players play the game.