THE BIG BALLER
WRITTEN BY KARAN TELI
No rookie has been hyped up like Lonzo Ball since LeBron James was a 17 High School kid in the summer of 2003. (I swear, not matter how great someone is, LeBron will always exceed them one way or another. I’m not even a Bronsexual, but damn you can’t deny greatness sometimes). Hype and expectation of greatness are two different things. There have definitely been rookies since James in 03 that have had higher expectations than Lonzo, but not the hype.
Lonzo Ball made NBA Summer League MUST SEE TV. Everyone was watching Lonzo. How did he factor against other potential NBA players? What shoes did he wear? Was it BBB? Was it Nike? Even LeBron himself got on Instagram to promote Lonzo in Nikes.
Here’s a crazy statistic – in an era where Social Media is so important for branding, marketing and promotion – the Lonzo Ball introduction in his first ever Summer League game is the 4th most viewed Instagram video on the official NBA page. 4TH. SUMMER LEAGUE. INTRODUCTION. LONZO BALL.
That’s hype. That’s crazy hype. That’s a Big Baller. Call Lavar Ball what you want, but call him a marketing genius whenever you do. He, along with Lonzo’s talent, made Lonzo a NBA star before a ball was even bounced. Before he was even drafted, we knew he was going to LA, and the new era was born. ‘The Lakers are back’ said Magic Johnson as he hoisted the NBA Summer League trophy. Of course, he is exaggerating. The Lakers are not back. Showtime is not back. Championships are not back. YET.
The expectations aren’t that high for the Lakers. Just be better than last year. 5-10 wins better. Oh, and Lonzo wins Rookie of the Year. That’ll make it successful in itself. It’ll be a small step in the right direction, and one step closer to Showtime. One thing is for certain though, Lonzo Ball is MUST SEE TV. Summer League proved it. His preseason performances, pregame outfits, postgame interviews and of course, his shoes (as a Big Baller, you wear what you want), are being spoken about on national TV shows like ESPN First Take, Undisputed and The Jump. That’s hype. But remember, for now, it’s only hype. Remember; hype and expectation of greatness are two different things.
Let Lonzo be himself, no added pressure or expectations, and the Big Baller will prove to be exactly that.