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Basketball, even decades after its conception, has remained largely the same; it’s still teams of players shooting balls into hoops. However, the game has seen certain changes— hyped branding, high-profile shoes, new technology, the 2k craze. Now, there is yet another new force in basketball: The Ball family.

The Ball family is representative of a new phase for basketball, a new period for the sport characterized by the intersection of reality TV-esqe personalities with the game. Big-name players have always been a part of sport. The idols have always existed. Names like Jordan and Johnson and Bird and Bryant have always been inextricably tied to the spirit of basketball. But, LaVar Ball is new. The basketball world hasn’t seen a force like him. He doesn’t fit with the paradigm of the game.

The words “reality TV” seem to aptly describe the persona of LaVar Ball – the big-mouthed, confident, and brash leader of the Ball family. Everything from his wacky guest appearances to his arrogant comments seem to reflect his untamed personality. LaVar Ball’s list of antics seem to go on and on. Ball has claimed he could best basketball greats like Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley. Then, Ball dropped the over-hyped ZO2’s for the exorbitant price of $495. He’s told females reporters and officials to “stay in their lanes.” He has even appeared on WWE to put on a staged demonstration of his strength. Recently, he’s occupied the news for pulling his son out of his high school over a heated, unnecessary dispute with the basketball coach. LaVar Ball’s acts seem to always put him in an embarrassing basketball limelight.

Ball’s association with his star rookie son, Lonzo Ball, ties him to the NBA. Like it or not, the Ball family patriarch has made a presence within the league. He is the force that ties a Kardashian-eque character to an entertaining and hardworking league. Does Ball pave the way for a new generation of characters in the NBA, or is he just a one-off piece? Regardless, Lavar Ball is an especially unique personality within the realm of the NBA.

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The student news site of Oxford College of Emory University
The BBB Craze