I’ll admit readily that I am not all that keen on pop culture personalities. I don’t keep up with them.
I’m actually a bit unclear whether LaVar Ball fits into that category of celebrity. But he’s intriguing me in a curious sort of way.
He’s the father of a professional basketball player, Lonzo Ball. His second-oldest son also is a pretty good basketball player who, until just the other day, was enrolled at UCLA; his name is LiAngelo Ball. There’s a third kid, too, who I reckon is going to play hoops for someone.
LaVar the Loudmouth thrust his name into the news, which I guess is his specialty, when LiAngelo and two UCLA teammates got caught shoplifting at a department store in China, where they were playing some non-conference games.
Chinese authorities were threatening to imprison the young men. Then Donald Trump intervened. He persuaded the commies to let the boys out. They came home. Daddy Ball got into a public beef with the president over whether he thanked the president sufficiently.
Back and forth they went.
Then LaVar pulled LiAngelo out of UCLA.
This is a case of someone hogging attention away from others. Imagine that. LaVar Ball and Donald Trump engaging in a man-to-man fight over who should bask in the spotlight.
So, what’s going to happen to LiAngelo? Is he going to play basketball for another college? As for Lonzo — who’s playing hoops for the Los Angeles Lakers, what does the future bode for him? What if he washes out? What is Daddy Ball going to do?
I’ll presume that LaVar loves his sons. He might think he’s doing them a big favor by cheering them on so loudly — and obnoxiously — from the front row.
However, the very idea that this guy — whose major talent seems to rival that of the Kardashians, Paris Hilton and the whole roster of Housewives of Wherever — is able to thrust himself into the public discussion speaks so very graphically about what has become of popular culture these days.
It seems that anyone can be a celebrity in the Social Media Age.