SCNG Sports Person of the Year: Why we kept our eye on the Ball Family (sunglasses optional)
By Tom Hoffarth
There is no easy way to deliver this, so let’s just put it out there:
LaVar Ball, along with his sons Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo, by virtue of what they did in the name of the Big Baller Brand from their modest Chino Hills home base, attaching themselves to basketball royalty at UCLA and with the Lakers, and detaching themselves from the norm in Lithuania, China and President Trump’s Twitter account, are the 2017 Southern California News Group Sports People of the Year.
If you somehow made it this deep into the story, we owe an explanation.
Cases could be made for Rams coach Sean McVay, running back Todd Gurley, quarterback Jared Goff or GM Les Snead, reflective of the team’s turnaround. USC blind long snapper Jake Olson (Huntington Beach/Orange Lutheran HS) and his inspirational story. Dodgers third baseman and Lakewood native Justin Turner, relief ace Kenley Jansen or rookie teammate Cody Bellinger for their Fall Classic run. Summer Olympics negotiator and L.A. native Casey Wasserman, for what he brought, or retiring Kings broadcaster Bob Miller, for what he left us.
They all brought the goods.
But the Ball family had the goods, bads and the uglies. It was a 21st Century version of Fred MacMurray and “My Three Sons,” without network censors.
There are some modern phrases we can also use to describe the impact as it played out.
SBNation.com used the term disruptors, pinning it specifically on the family patriarch. We’ve read TheRinger.com refer to Lonzo Ball as a “Superstar for the Reddit Generation.” TheComeback.com tied it together when it said “sports content producers need eyeballs right now, and they’ve found a savior in Lonzo and LaVar Ball.”
As ‘Gelo and ‘Melo joined in on a Facebook reality show, it seemed to reinforce another modern phenomenon in […]