It’s crazy to think that how, in just a little over one year, Lavar Ball has made his family a constant topic of conversation.


When his son, Lonzo, played at UCLA, his talent was never questioned, but the mouth of his father was. Towards the end of Ball’s only season at the school, Lavar became more and more of a presence in the media, beginning to act as Lonzo’s agent of sorts.


When the NCAA tournament came around, the father was featured on many major, syndicated platforms, most notably ESPN First Take, where he would boast about the ability of his son and how he was the best thing since sliced bread.


Even when UCLA lost in the Sweet 16, Lavar was at the forefront, answering questions on behalf of his son and deflecting the pressure and scrutiny on himself rather than the play of his kid. Fatherly instinct, right?


What’s also very innate about Lavar is his penchant to change the rules of the trade while using his sons as a direct funnel to do so. It’s actually incredible when you really look at it.


When Lonzo was preparing for the draft, it was Lavar who became an even bigger presence as time wore on. From battling with Charles Barkley to basically guaranteeing that “Zo” would be drafted by the Lakers, Lavar set the ultimate stage for his son to take advantage of.


So, what ends up happening is that all of the media press and hoopla surrounding Lonzo and his debut on the NBA hardwood, created the buzz necessary to release a $495 signature shoe for the newly appointed Laker called the “ZO2”, the first shoe in the Big Baller Brand line.


Clever name, overpriced shoe.


But that’s beside the point. The real point to make here is that you have a father who is clearly invested in his sons and is doing it in a very unconventional way that is breaking ground in marketing.


Never before have we seen this publicly play out right in front of our eyes. A father assuming the “agent” role, we have seen. But a father assuming that role and actually getting things done that creates conversation, now this is different.


The best part is, it doesn’t stop with Lonzo.


(Sole Collector)

A report came out last month that his youngest son, LaMelo, by social media standards, is the most popular high school athlete in history. Now granted, back when LeBron James, Wilt Chamberlain and so many other groundbreaking high school athletes were at that stage, social media wasn’t even a thing. However, the Ball family brand that Lavar has carefully, or really maybe not carefully, curated taken over this social media thing and given his sons a presence like we have never seen.


So, as a result, LaMelo, at only 16 years old, has his own signature shoe as a Junior in high school.


To think, even the players i mentioned before like James and Chamberlain, and so many more, didn’t have this luxury, and they were much better players. This shoe makes LaMelo the first high school athlete with a signature shoe for sale.


Now you ask, “He’s in high school, how can he have his own shoe for sale?” Well technically, he can’t. His amateur status denies him of that right…. technically. However, this technicality isn’t even a thing to Lavar, who has openly said that he doesn’t care about eligibility, even when his son has to go to college to make it to the NBA.


So just to recap, Lavar Ball has given two of his sons signature shoes. One is within his parameters to have one while the other is nowhere near within his.


This is the Ball family though. Changing the game on how to market yourselves as a unit, spearheaded by a “Super Dad” who will do whatever it takes to show his boys in the best light. Like whatever it takes.


So how should we feel about this?


Well, it really doesn’t matter how we feel because they aren’t our children. Every parent has the right to raise their children however they choose and it’s really not up to us to constantly worry about it. Now, having an opinion about it is different.


My opinion, I actually am for the changing of the guard as far as how he uses the family to boost one another in various ways. I support people who start their own businesses and do whatever it takes to win. However, I don’t support this move to give Melo his own shoe, right now.


Being that he is only 16, you’re jeopardizing his chances to go to the NBA, or wherever you think he’s capable of going, by doing this. It’s simply not necessary for him at this point. I’m all for changing rules and creating conversation, but this is too much because it actually does put your son at a risk.


His own shoe would technically make him ineligible to play high school ball and for someone who is really guaranteed a full scholarship by some of the top schools in the nation, is it really worth the press and the temporary moment to do this?


In my opinion, no, but again, I don’t think Lavar has any care about what anyone thinks at this point.


Do you think this shoe will put Lamelo’s career in jeopardy? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3.