It’s a cool birthday gift to accompany the Lamborghini.
It’s immediately unclear how the shoe will impact Ball’s collegiate eligibility, if it all. What’s clearer is that LaVar, the patriarch of publicity, has leveraged another one of his sons to gain a bigger share of the attention market.
I am giving him what I want by giving his company free product placement on this website. But, hey, so are dozens of other websites. To augment that, allow me to posit what Ball’s real long-term plan may be here.
He knows LaMelo won’t be the player Lonzo became at UCLA. That’s a smart gamble as No. 2 overall picks don’t grow on trees. So how does he differentiate for this son/walking billboard?
By setting in motion a narrative to pit him against the big bad NCAA, which surely won’t allow an active player to profit from his own signature shoe. By opening the door to the unknown, to see a battle between the good and evil of the almighty dollar and play ringmaster.
Or, more cynically, how does he blunt against son No. 3 being a store-brand version of the first? By keeping him away from top-level college talent. So here’s the hypothesis.
LaMelo’s shoe step is the first in an active branding campaign setting up a climate of intrigue over his college choice/eligibility. Then, the option to stash him overseas, likely in China for a year will be in play. LaVar can focus on building the BBB in that lucrative market while he figures out his next move.
Now, admittedly, this all sounds a little out there. But to anticipate what the Ball family will do next, one must think like a Ball. And that’s the chain of events I could see them setting in motion.