While Lonzo Ball dives into his first season as the Lakers’ point guard, the camera crew following him during the summer won’t go with him to camp.
“I don’t think they’ll let him film at camp and all that stuff,” Lonzo’s father, LaVar Ball, said. “I don’t think that’s a big deal. Most of the stuff they’ll film when he comes back home. When he’s off. I want everybody to get all this stuff in, and then when October rolls around, tell everybody back up.”
LaVar spoke on Saturday while at his youngest son’s 16th birthday party, which was filmed for the family’s docu-series, “Ball in the Family,” produced by Bunim/Murray Productions, the same company responsible for “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and MTV’s “Real World,” will air 10 episodes on Facebook Watch. The first two episodes debuted on Aug. 31, and the rest will air on Sundays, starting Sept. 10.
LaVar and his wife, Tina, are both credited as producers on the show.
“It’s very easy to produce on the fact that all they’re doing is following us,” LaVar said. “The story is already there. It’s so organic and so original that we’re not drawing up, saying, ‘You know what? What are we going to do next?’ Ain’t nobody’s family dynamic like this.”
The show follows LaVar, his sons Lonzo, LiAngelo (set to be a freshman at UCLA) and LaMelo (a junior at Chino Hills High). It also follows Tina as she works to recover from a stroke she suffered in February.
The Lakers have their own behind-the-scenes show, “Backstage Lakers,” produced by Spectrum SportsNet, which is a partner with the team and its official broadcaster.
LaVar insisted he doesn’t want his oldest son distracted from his main goal, which is returning the Lakers to greatness. He’ll appear on the show during visits home, or when he unveils his clothing line.
“He’s gotta be dialed in,” LaVar said. “We ain’t just coming to say he’s playing for the Lakers. We’re coming for the championship. If he don’t, he ain’t a Ball boy. We’re coming for the championship his first year. Magic [Johnson] did it. That’s saying it can be done.”
Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson did indeed win a championship as a rookie in 1980. He was one of four future Hall of Famers on that roster, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Spencer Haywood and Jamaal Wilkes.
The Lakers current roster is a long way from that one. They hope to add two superstars next summer to then compete for a championship. But LaVar isn’t culling his expectations until then.
“It can be done but folks are like, ‘Ahhhh,’” LaVar said. “That’s how the Big Baller Brand was built. We’re disruptive. It ain’t gonna happen? We’ll see.”
Follow Tania Ganguli on Twitter @taniaganguli