The New Footlocker Commercial Shows Lonzo Ball Is Self-Aware (Of LaVar)

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I’m a LaVar fan. I’ve written it before. I appreciate the genius/insanity of what he’s been able to build. I like the fodder it creates. I laugh at the absurdity of every public appearance. And I like that he’s trying, however futile it may seem, to challenge these multibillion dollar shoe brands. I don’t have to buy his shoes. I don’t have to watch First Take. I don’t have to read every take about him. So how am I ever going to get that mad about it? It’s sports. It’s fun. And I’m always here for someone who breaks up both the monotony of basic sports talk and the brutal gravity of so many things (drugs, violence, racism, etc) attached to sports these days.

With that all said… I can totally understand why you wouldn’t want LaVar attached to your team. Following someone attached to the NBA is very different that following someone attached to your team.

Having the LaVar Circus as part of the NBA for the next 20-plus years will be hilarious because you follow the league as a whole for entertainment and enjoyment. It doesn’t really work that way when all you want from your team is wins and/or promise. And if you compound down periods or sustained failure with an overbearing figure like LaVar, that’s a recipe for disaster.

Anyone who drafts Lonzo is going to have to deal with that. It’s not always rainbows and butterflies in the NBA. Not even for the most successful teams or for the tightest-run ships. And with every losing streak or missed opportunity or the slightest hint of failure in a big moment, Lonzo will have to deal with the LaVar issue.

At the very least, though, this is an encouraging sign. Yes, it’s a scripted commercial. Yes, it’s a PR move. But Lonzo doesn’t sign on to do this if he’s not self-aware. Or… I guess to be more specific… Paternally-aware.

He knows who his dad is and how his dad is perceived. I know it sounds simple to say that. But you never know if someone might be clouded by, you know, being raised by the man.

Lonzo seems to not only be very aware of what his dad is to the NBA culture, but also confident in his ability to navigate that.

You might not want the LaVar circus. You might not love having it. But if you’re going to roll the dice on Lonzo, it seems like you can at least feel a little easier knowing that he’s fully aware of what you’re both dealing with.

Yup. I got all that from the commercial.

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