I wouldn’t say that I’m a hardcore, angry, stubborn conspiracy theorist that locks himself away in his mother’s basement until dinner time. Really, I wouldn’t say I am a conspiracy theorist at all. Most of my beliefs are based on logic, which is why I haven’t been fooled into believing aliens exist or that Tupac is alive and living in Cuba.
However, I would say that I dabble in conspiracy theories, similar to the way a grandma would dabble in knitting. And right now, I have this unshakable feeling that the NBA is out to get Lavar Ball.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the other 29 teams have collectively met in discrete underground locations Fight Club style, working together to cultivate a master plan to destroy Lavar and any other Big Ballers out there. Most players probably don’t even hate the eccentric sports dad, except Joel Embid of course, who recently posted a video on Instagram exclaiming, “F**k Lavar Ball.” Hate is definitely too strong of a word to describe NBA player’s feelings towards Lavar, but many have expressed a clear annoyance.
Kyrie Irving explained his thoughts on how overbearing Lavar is, urging him to “let Lonzo be Lonzo.” LeBron James also claimed to have a problem with Mr. Ball following his rude comments about LeBron’s kids. Multiple NBA players have been vocal in their distaste for the CEO of Big Baller Brand, which brings into question what effect this may have on the Lakers franchise as a whole.
Once Lavar Ball proclaimed that the Lakers would make the playoffs and that Lonzo would lead them there, multiple moves have taken place within the NBA that make this idealistic goal much more difficult to achieve, which may or may not be completely coincidental.
For one, the Lakers have accomplished jack squat so far in free agency. This might be an unpopular opinion, especially considering the fact that Los Angeles’ most beloved former athlete Magic Johnson is running the team, but it simply is the truth. Multiple players, such as George Hill and Dion Waiters, have used the Purple and Gold as leverage to receive larger deals. It has been established that Magic is more focused on signing superstars next summer, which is definitely a wise strategy to abide by, but finishing the season with another abysmal record won’t bode well in free agency pitches. As a result, the team needs savvy veterans on one year deals to assist in winning more games, but they currently have obtained no players so far this summer.
Maybe some free agents have strayed away from the lure of Magic and his new staff in order to not give into the wishes of Lavar? Although this isn’t probable at first glance, it makes more sense when observing what has occurred within the NBA outside of the Lakers franchise.
It would be an understatement to claim that the West has gotten stronger. It wouldn’t even be accurate to compare the two conferences to David and Goliath. The East now is David with a sprained wrist, whereas the West is Goliath’s older, angrier brother who eats steroids and the dreams of young children for breakfast.
The East lost three All-Stars in Jimmy Butler, Paul George, and Paul Milsap, yet many more notable starters were moved to the West as well. This esteemed group includes Brook Lopez (go Lakers), Jeff Teague, Patrick Patterson, and so on. So while the Lakers have remained stagnant so far this free agency period, other teams in the West have reloaded, gearing up for a vicious race to the playoffs, as seen through this “Mad Max” parody.
Of course it is probable that free agents have chosen to take their talents to the West next season as a result of smarter management existing within the conference, as seen through the dominance displayed against the East over the years. For nine straight seasons the Western Conference has possessed a cumulatively better record than the East, which is far more than luck or mere coincidence. Yet logic has not presided over sheer lunacy in my thought process the past week, which is why I am convinced that Lavar is the one to blame.
Lavar Ball essentially has been correct, or at least accurate, in most of the predictions he has made. Although he wasn’t right when claiming that Lonzo would win the NCAA tournament, the notorious Big Baller was spot-on when predicting that the Lakers would keep their draft pick and make his son the face of their franchise. And after gloriously shouting on national television that Lonzo would lead the Lakers to the playoffs, the average NBA fan couldn’t help but feel that he just might be right when it’s all said and done. But this most likely didn’t sit well with the average NBA player.
Logically speaking, players have moved or been moved West as a result of savvy management, great weather, and more competitive teams. This stagnancy and rejection the Lakers have experienced this summer is most likely a result of gearing up for free agency next year and a couple of failed pitches to free agents. Any intelligent fan would draw similar conclusions to those just listed, since conspiracy theories never seem to sit well in the face of reason and debate.
However, blaming every Laker failure on Lavar Ball is simply more fun.