America’s Greatest Showman and Patriarch of basketball’s most important family, Lavar Ball, has another son in the lottery, and the New York Knicks, a lottery mainstay, have LaMelo Ball as the best guard on their board. LaMelo should be the Knicks point guard of the future.
The world was introduced to the youngest of the Ball trilogy as a baby-faced teenager known for pull-up half-court threes. The exact kind of sideshow basketball you would expect from the eccentric Ball family. LaMelo has been a part of just about all of Lavar’s plans from the Junior Basketball Association that paid high schoolers, to playing professionally in the former Eastern Bloc where Lavar even got to coach a game, to playing professionally in Australia. Along the way, LaMelo seized on his potential and became the kind of lottery pick his father always hyped him out to be. Another son, another story of Lavar speaking it into existence. Triple B’s baby!
Just like Lavar wanted Lonzo on the Los Angeles Lakers, he is letting it be known that the bright lights of New York City seem like just the place for the third Ball son. Will the Heavens smile down and let another one of the Ball children play at their father’s preferred destination? The Knicks should hope so! In the Golden Age of Point Guards the Knicks point guard play has been a revolving door of mediocrity.
Let’s talk about the Opening Night Starters for the Knicks the last few years:
- Allonzo Trier 2019-2020 – Played about 6 games this year
- Trey Burke 2018-2019 – A “Take a chance” contract who ended up being traded
- Ramon Sessions 2017-2018 – P U
- Derek Rose 2016-2017 – Declared the Knicks a SuperTeam, abandoned the team for a couple games, left the next year
- Jose Calderon 2015-2016 – Yuck, Thanks Phil
- Shane Larkin 2014-2015 – Couldn’t remember if he started or Shumpert, either way, less than memorable
- Raymond Felton 2013-2014 – The second time Felton has been on the team
- Jason Kidd 2012-2013 – 43 year-old Jason Kidd might be the best point guard of my post-college life.
- Toney Douglas 2011-2012 – GROSS
- Raymond Felton (again) 2010-2011
About halfway through my research of when the last time the Knicks had the same Opening Night point guard, I had to go on a long and contemplative run as to why I let this franchise do this to me. Seriously, think of the point guard era we live in right now, and think of how improbable it is that the Knicks have failed to acquire a single one worth anything for ten straight years.
The last back-to-back game one starter? CHRIS DUHON. IN THIS ECONOMY.
Lets spend eight minutes watching this professional league mixtape of Lamelo Ball and you tell me at the end of this if this kid is better than any of the people I named above.
LOOK AT THIS REAL POINT GUARD PLAY!
Who cares if he can’t guard anyone. Let Frank Ntilikina teach this kid defense. Or, just complete hide him and Frank can guard two players. He’s French Tony Allen anyway.
Beyond his abilities as a playmaker and a scorer, which the Knicks have been lacking for over a decade, LaMelo brings a secret asset to the Knicks. An asset that can takedown the much maligned James Dolan. The Big Baller himself, Lavar Ball.
We have seen that James Dolan protects his precious Madison Square Garden with an iron fist. He banned Spike Lee from using the same entrance he has been using for twenty plus years. He had Knicks legend Charles Oakley thrown out of the Garden and banned after an altercation.
In his tenure as owner, Dolan has avoided press and prefers to respond to media slights through press releases with official Knicks letterhead. This is where The Big Baller comes in. Lavar Ball LOVES being on television. He is instant ratings for any Fox Sports or ESPN program that he comes on, and the networks love having him there. Can you imagine Lavar sitting in between Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless for two hours ripping James Dolan to shreds for not honoring a dinner voucher at Shake Shack? What about the first time Tom Thibodeau benches LaMelo? Or plays him into the ground like his Jimmy Butler/Derek Rose/ and mid-2010’s Chicago Bulls star?
Can you imagine the Knicksian dumpster fire a Lavar ban from Dolan would create? Commissioner Adam Silver himself might need to get involved.
Would a weekly, or (God willing) daily Lavar Ball barrage be enough to get King Dolan off the throne? One can only hope.
In Lamelo Ball, the Knicks are getting their best opportunity at a point guard in a long, long time. They also may finally be getting rid of Dolan himself. How can you pass all that up?