Coverage of LaVar Ball’s criticism of Luke Walton has perturbed coaches from all over The Association. The patriarch of the Ball family is perpetually inserting himself into the affairs of his sons.
However, there was an understanding that he’d keep negative opinions about the Lakers franchise to himself.
Steve Kerr, however, took a more nuanced approach to the interminable supply of LaVar Ball drivel being broadcast to the public on a regular basis.
Rather than joining Carlisle and Malone in pitting coaches against media, Kerr sliced through the superficial layers and spoke to the meaty issues affecting the current media environment.
So i talked to guys in the media this year. I said, “Why do you have to cover that guy?” And they say, “Well, we don’t want to, but our bosses tell us we have to because of the readership.”
“Somewhere LaVar is laughing at all of us. People are eating out of his hands for no apparent reasons other than he has become the Kardashian in the NBA,” Kerr said prior to the Warriors’ game on Monday against the Denver Nuggets. “That sells. That’s what is true in politics, entertainment and now in sports. It doesn’t matter if there’s any substance involved with any issues. It’s just, ‘Can we make it really interesting for no apparent reason?’”
“This is not a ESPN judgment. It’s a societal thing more than anything,” Kerr said. “We’re going away from covering the game and we’re getting closer to sensationalized news. It’s really not news. It’s complete nonsense. If you package that irrational nonsense with some glitter and some ribbon, people are going to watch.”
Kerr is correct in that regard. LaVar is a content drug and we are the dealers trying to keep up with demand while you, the user, complains about how drugs are ruining your community. His surreal behavior and lack of a filter triggers a reaction in people and drives traffic to pages, which equals more revenue for sites who cover his antics. If you’re reading this right now, you’ve been hooked on LaVar.
Like it or not, the idiocracy has reached the NBA.
“This is not a condemnation of ESPN. It’s not. It’s a societal issue.”
-Steve Kerr on the fact that ESPN sent reporters to Lithuania to cover the Ball family but laid off dozens of employees like Ethan Strauss and Marc Stein pic.twitter.com/jFPffUNuh2
— KNBR (@KNBR) January 9, 2018
On another hand, Lonzo Ball has only been an NBA player for all of seven months. If the coaches and the general public’s blood pressure rises every time LaVar spouts some remotely controversial opinion, the next 10-15 years are going to be a very unpleasant one. It’s possible the novelty will wear off, but it’s unlikely.
After all, the Kardashians are still here, multiplying and more relevant than ever. It’s unfortunate because LaVar is actually taking a model that’s the antithesis of what Kris Jenner does. Instead of letting his kids’ talent shine for the brand, LaVar is content to keep center stage all for himself.
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