When it comes to Lonzo Ball, and perhaps general NBA fandom over the last 20 years or so, I think people have simply become tired of the overreaction and dramatization of the NBA.
Some will look at how we’ve already lost patience with the coverage of the Ball family and claim we don’t like them because we’re haters or even racist, but, I think, deep down, we see that turning the NBA into drama ball is something that’s hurt that league in more ways than one.
The NBA, and other professional sports leagues, like to push storylines and build the myth around certain players, sometimes even before the players play a professional game, so that the fans can invest in those players and therefore the league. These stories create certain associations with those players and our own sense of tribalism and loyalty naturally causes us to gravitate toward specific players and teams with the attributes we favor.
For some, Ball and his family are worth admiration based on the attention and money they receive, especially in proportion to that of other rookies. But, there are those of us who recognize that Ball is trying to become a brand before the work is even done, and his perceived value doesn’t match up with his level of production.
And so, because we’ve been trained to overreact to every game, we’re either going to be calling Lonzo a bust or a baller after every game. Whether or not he’ll be successful throughout his career is unknown, but if we want to be better fans and have a better league, we’ve got to stop eagerly feeding into the drama. If we want players’ game to speak for itself, we should just make it about the skill and the stats, while possessing the patience to watch players develop.