EL SEGUNDO — There were questions about his rapping, about his often outrageous father, about his family’s reality television show.
There also were questions about his hairstyle and shoe preference, appropriate since Lonzo Ball, like few NBA rookies before him, has been, in fact, exposed from head to toe.
He had an answer for each Monday at Lakers media day, my favorite coming when the player who, at this stage, is equal helpings hope and hype articulated the reason for his relentless cool and unyielding confidence.
“I’ve been playing basketball my entire life,” Ball explained. “I think I’m pretty good at it.”
And that, ultimately, will be what defines the career of this potentially franchise-shaping point guard, this made-in-L.A., made-for-L.A. floor leader who’s expected to only revive the championship aspirations of a 16-time title winner.
How well Ball plays and how well, in turn, he lifts the teammates around him is all that matters once the Lakers open training camp today.
There’s so much more to his story, of course, so many more things that every other team in the league won’t be forced to avoid as possible distractions this season.
That’s assuming, naturally, that Ball is the only NBA player whose family is currently the subject of a TV show produced by the same folks responsible for “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”
This one is called “Ball In The Family,” and the trampling invasion of cameras might be too much for some parents to handle.
Then again, LaVar Ball is the same father who in June appeared on WWE Raw – with Lonzo and youngest son LaMelo – and, at one point, pranced around the ring wearing a scowl but no shirt.
“We don’t concern ourselves with that,” said Magic Johnson, who, as Lakers president of basketball operations, has to be concerned with everything Lakers. “The only time I’m going to concern myself with what he does off the court is if it affects his play on the court.”
The guess here is that isn’t going to happen, that Ball won’t allow it to happen. He seems much too mature, much too well adjusted to living at the center of the circus.
But players older and more NBA experienced have had their careers and lives derailed by off-court drama. As a team, the Lakers also traditionally have generated enough of their own soap opera storylines.
For a franchise rebuilding everything from its roster to its reputation, the Lakers will be challenged enough dealing with the Western…