Everybody knows by now what LaVar is charging. Everybody knows all the jokes that inspired. The reviews of the shoe itself are pretty good. Some have claimed they would buy it. Others have claimed they can’t wait for the shoe to flop and end up in the discount bin, and for Lonzo, and LaVar and the entire Ball lineage to end up on food stamps. (Which is a wonderful wish to have for a teenager, by the way, on the sole premise that his father gets on your nerves.)
But everybody was, and is, talking about it.
LaVar, as it also has been pointed out, is getting more mileage for himself and his son with less effort and expense than anyone could ever imagine from what was once an anonymous, nondescript dad of a ballplayer.
If this was his viral marketing plan, then amidst all our vein-popping fury, we’re not giving him enough credit for how he played it all … and played us.
You don’t even have to go back that far to see a recent parallel: LeBron James forming a management company and becoming the string-puller instead of the one being pulled … and having his business partners being patronizingly described by Phil Jackson as his “posse.”
Compared to that, what LaVar Ball is trying is even more extreme. He has no history of being a negotiator, manufacturer or CEO. He set an insanely high price for his son’s shoe deal — likely on purpose, in hindsight — saw them reject it, then set out on his own.
This is a tough contract to evaluate. Ingles is one of the best role players in the NBA, a player capable of hitting 44 percent of his 3s in addition to defending up and down the lineup. He can make plays for teammates with his tremendous vision, as well as rebound and get the break going on his own due to his ball-handling ability. Ingles is the kind of player who just helps you win games on the fringes, pure and simple. He can fit with just about any lineup, and he can make a positive impact due to his wide breadth of skills.