By: Jeffrey Newholm
Regular theatergoers quickly bore of all the ads and trailers preceding the film. When the show starts, however, the audience watches in rapt attention. For the “showtime” Lakers, the team had the opposite problem. When the Kobe show ended in 2016, there was no one left on stage for an encore. But this season, a new performer was drafted. Will Lonzo Ball raise the curtain for a L.A. resurgence?
Although criticized for a rather cool shooting (just 36%), Ball has been an overall solid performer for the Lakers. But this isn’t enough for some fans. Granted, most fans will never be satisfied (note the cries to fire Steelers coach Mike Tomlin after a 13-4 record). But the grumps do have some reason for concern. With LeBron’s contract expiration coinciding with the Cavs’ own struggles, L.A. is seen as a potential landing pad. But why would a player almost past his peak jump to a 15-28 team? The Lakers seem all-in on the bet, and should James go elsewhere, the team may bust, with Balls’s show going flat.
What’s really shameful about the lofty expectations placed on Ball is how contrary it is to a life properly lived. Success, happiness, and purpose isn’t something to be chased after and caught. They’re things that one lets happen naturally if his nose is at the grindstone of meticulous work and self-improvement. By asking too much of Ball, fans are more than setting themselves up for disappointment. They’re threatening to perpetuate a cycle of disappointment, a revolving door that many Browns quarterbacks have been shoved through.
Even in the best light show, the most dazzled spectators must occasionally blink. It’s OK for any great team to have an occasional down cycle. There’s no need to appoint one person as a supposed “white knight” to ride in and solve all a team’s problems. Unfortunately, this is just what Lakers fans are unfairly labeling an otherwise blue chip prospect. If these fans don’t see the error of their ways, the Lakers Showtime will be akin to Rocky Horror Picture Show-something far past its proper place in time, with a few followers who seem like kooks to everyone else.