ESPN will sink or swim with Lavar Ball

The inception of ESPN was to broadcast Hartford Whalers hockey games some forty years ago in Connecticut. Now owned by Disney, it seems ESPN has certainly gone Hollywood and become more of the TMZ of sports. Sadly even their mainstay show Sportscenter, barely shows any highlights. There was once a time you could watch a Philadelphia Phillies vs San Diego Padres highlight and damn well enjoy it. Now ESPN only deems a few showcase games of the night important.

They also showcase the NBA because that is the league they are the most invested in. With the Los Angeles connections, the walking talking troll that is Lavar Ball, it looks like ESPN could change their name to Lavar Center. Already they have shown two Lonzo Ball’s summer league games and made it top story. This is amidst the baseball season in full effect and the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros playing great baseball.

ESPN likes to brand star athletes (mainly NBA) and cover them until it’s so annoying you can’t stand them. The last few months of Kobe Bryant’s retirement tour was unwatchable and now they have Lonzo Ball. ESPN desperately wants him to be a star. They desperately want his father to keep saying crazy things because somehow they think this is what the viewers want.

This has all the makings of a complete disaster. Lonzo Ball seems to be a shy kid and nothing like the personality of his father. As a player he is nowhere near the skills, creativity and charisma of his idol Magic Johnson. I believe in his first season he will struggle because his shot isn’t there yet and he will play timid.

It will be interesting to see how long ESPN forces the Balls’ down our throats. Maybe with their ratings plummeting, they will go back to the old Sportscenter model of showing highlights. But I also want my MTV back that shows videos all day instead of “16 and Pregnant”. It is a sad slippery slope.


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