LaVar Ball told Magic Johnson his bravado is just a marketing tool

0:48 | NBA
LaVar Ball tells Magic Johnson his bravado is just marketing tool
Friday July 7th, 2017

If LaVar Ball’s over-the-top personality seems too outrageous to be genuine, that’s because apparently it is. 

ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne has a story out Friday looking at Lonzo Ball’s first few weeks as a Laker and it contains one especially illuminating anecdote about LaVar. When Lakers brass visited the Ball family at home, LaVar revealed that the guy on TV yelling about beating Michael Jordan 1-on-1 isn’t the real him. 

“He just said it’s marketing,“ Magic Johnson told Shelburne. “That’s what he had to do to market not only his son but the brand. Before I met him I had already thought that. I already knew what he was doing.”

LaVar also told Shelburne that he’ll have a hands-off approach with Lonzo now that he’s on the Lakers, leaving training and instruction up to the team’s staff. 

The conversation with the elder Ball “helped put Johnson and [GM Rob] Pelinka at ease,” Shelburne writes. 

They have a word for this in wrestling: kayfabe. No wonder LaVar looked like such a natural in the WWE ring.

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