Andrew Brandt wrote in SI’s MMQB on Tuesday that the Big Baller Brand founder is doing right by his son in the leadup to the draft. Brandt said he’s seen many people like LaVar in the sports world, and that people like LaVar are “occupational hazard that can be challenging yet also rewarding.”
One advantage in Lonzo having LaVar is that he already has someone in place who can say no to unwanted deals or conversations with people outside their orbit.
I have heard the narrative about him being “a distraction” with his bravado and shameless promotion of Big Baller Brand. However, I do not see any of this negatively affecting his son, Lonzo. To the contrary, the elder Ball seems to be protecting his son from inevitable other influences that have—and will—come Lonzo’s way. LaVar seems perfectly suited to be the true “no guy,” ready to block those who have less concern for his son than he. It appears the only “herd” around Lonzo Ball and his brothers is LaVar; no new friends, no new advisors, no associates with their hands out. Sure, LaVar is catnip to sports television and radio programming, but he seems as effective in protecting Lonzo’s interests as any manager, marketer or agent.
Brandt also offered some insight on how Lonzo will be represented. LaVar’s started Ball Sports Groups and paired with Harrison Gaines. It’s another sign that if a team wants to get to Lonzo Ball, they’ll have to deal with LaVar. Not that a rookie deal has much wiggle room in it to begin with.
As for Gaines’s inexperience, it will not be an issue with Lonzo’s rookie contract; the NBA rookie scale is predetermined. Lonzo will receive the maximum allotted to his slot no matter whether the agent is handling his first contract or his 1,000th (many NBA agents do not charge a fee on rookie contracts).
Beyond that, Brandt talks about LaVar and Lonzo the same way the rest of us do. Basically everyone in the NBA world expects Lonzo to go second overall to the Lakers. From there, people say LaVar will stay away and Lonzo will be fine. But there’s really only one way to find this out, so pure speculation will have to do for now.