Robert Sarver and Ryan McDonough would likely deny what I am thinking. They would probably say that the father of a player doesn’t matter when it comes to the NBA draft. Over the top dads are a dime a dozen when it comes to sports. They would be wrong.
The Suns are likely going to be in position to draft a franchise changing player. Whether it’s Washington guard Markelle Fultz or UCLA sensation Lonzo Ball.
Ball is the player that I’ve wanted since November. He’s must-see TV. He would instantly bring a white-hot buzz to a franchise that hasn’t played in a postseason game since May 29th, 2010 (we can’t remind ownership enough of this colossal mess).
While I love watching Ball, I hadn’t taken his dad into account until just recently. Why should I? The dad doesn’t play the game. Lonzo Ball will surely be his own man. But, the dad keeps finding a hot mic and reminds everyone that he wants his son to play for the Lakers.
The dad reminds me of the great Don King (Only in America). Say as many outrageous things as possible to create hype and buzz around your guy.
Here’s the thing – If the Suns draft Ball and control him for just three seasons, (you don’t believe this dad wouldn’t try drastic measures if restricted free agency came into play?) then what? It’s a very fair question to ask. You can’t draft a player like Ball and wonder if you’ll even have a shot at re-signing him after his initial deal is complete. How much say does the dad REALLY have on his son’s future?
If you’re Sarver and McDonough, don’t you have to look at the whole package with a pick that high?
Of course you do.
I’d even go as far as meeting with the dad. Usually I wouldn’t care about a dad bragging up his kid, happens all the time. But in this case, given the position of the pick and the best chance to finally dig themselves out of the shallow grave, I’ve got to dig deeper on LaVar Ball.