Tom Sorensen

Here’s what Lonzo Ball and Kemba Walker have in common, and it involves their dads

LaVar Ball (right) is unlikely to be fired from his job as the too-talkative father of basketball-playing sons, including top NBA prospect Lonzo Ball (left) of UCLA.
LaVar Ball (right) is unlikely to be fired from his job as the too-talkative father of basketball-playing sons, including top NBA prospect Lonzo Ball (left) of UCLA. Associated Press

People in the media might get laid off, but LaVar Ball never will. He has a job for a life as a father who attracts attention through his three basketball-playing sons. The oldest of those is former UCLA guard Lonzo Ball.

The odds of the Charlotte Hornets moving to the top of the NBA lottery and getting a shot at Ball were preposterous, and it didn’t happen. The Hornets will select 11th, even though sports are the place where the improbable happens and the lottery deities owe this team and this town.

So the Hornets won’t be taking LaVar’s son.

Lonzo Ball is unselfish, which is why he led the NCAA in assists. LaVar, however, talks as if he is paid by the word. He reminds me of boxing promoter Don King, whom I've spent time with. But LaVar isn't as funny or as clever.

LaVar’s Ball’s new athletic apparel company, Big Baller Brand, is selling its first pair of shoes for $495. I paid less than that for my first car. People have complained about the price, as in: How do I tell my kids they can’t have those shoes? Tell them the truth.

There might be another option. You’ll recall that Robert Pittenger, a U.S. representative from North Carolina, suggested that people move to another state if they want more affordable health care. Maybe the same logic applies to shoes. Move to California, the Balls’ base, and maybe the shoes will be only $450.

Whoever selects Ball next month with the first, second or third pick (he will go no later), will also get his dad. But coaches can handle dads; they all have basketball dad experience. When the Hornets once moved a shooting guard to point guard, the guard’s father said: “Good. He’ll get more shots.”

There will be plenty of shots for Ball – and Kemba Walker.

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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