By the time Lonzo Ball begins his first training camp with the Lakers on Sept. 24 he will have already released several versions of his signature shoe, starred in a reality show chronicling the daily lives of his family and dropped a rap single.
It has been, by any measure, a busy summer for the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft and the NBA Summer League MVP.
“I look at it pretty simply,” Ball said Monday in an interview with the Southern California News Group. “Basketball is my passion, my job. The music thing is just a hobby so that’s fun, and then the show I’m just with my family. So it’s nothing out of the ordinary I don’t usually do.”
The Ball family, led by patriarch cum pitchman LaVar, has managed to stay at the forefront of the NBA’s crowded landscape throughout the offseason. “Ball In the Family” debuted on Facebook’s Watch platform on Aug. 31. As of Monday, the first episode had been viewed more than 8.4 million times.
The show has wrapped filming for its first season and three of 10 episodes have aired, although the subsequent two episodes have failed to generate the same interest as the premiere. Neither is yet to crack a million views on Facebook. Bunim/Murray Productions, the company behind the show, also produced “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and “The Real World.”
“Ball is Life” has so far chronicled the end of Lonzo’s college career at UCLA, the draft and his interactions with his two basketball-playing brothers, LiAngelo and LaMelo. It has also taken viewers into the family’s Chino Hills home after Tina Ball, Lonzo’s mother, suffered a stroke in March and her subsequent recovery.
“I think it’s kind of cool,” Lonzo said, of living in a TV show. “At first it’s kind of weird with the cameras following you everywhere, but once we got used to it. The crew and everybody, we all became friends and it became pretty easy after that.”
It’s not new for a Lakers player to have a reality television presence, after Lamar Odom shared airtime with then-wife Khloe Kardashian during his Lakers tenure. Ball said he has not solicited any advice on balancing the two worlds from Odom, who has periodically visited the Lakers’ training facility this summer.
In fact, Ball said he isn’t sure how his foray into unscripted entertainment is playing among those affiliated with the Lakers.
He doesn’t know if Coach Luke Walton has watched. His teammates haven’t had much to say either, he said.