It's a cliché to say that chemistry can make or break any sports team, but it's true. Which will make the Los Angeles Lakers a fascinating case study next season, with the addition of LeBron James and several other new players.
Everyone knows what James brings to the table in terms of skills and leadership. The question with the Lakers is thornier: How will James deal with LaVar Ball, the outspoken father of Lakers guard Lonzo Ball?
Shortly after news broke of James' agreement to a four-year, $154 million deal with the Lakers, social media began pondering that question. Yahoo Sports Jordan Schultz tweeted, "I cannot wait until the first squabble between #LaVar and #LeBron. This is going to be amazing. Have I mentioned I love this league?"
If LaVar Ball isn't enough of an X Factor, Schultz recounted a conversation with an NBA exec who, noting the Lakers' addition of free-agent Lance Stephenson Sunday night, said, “The "New showtime: 3 Ls. Lance, Lavar and LeBron."
The elder Ball has had plenty to say about his son's career with the Lakers. Just last week he addressed rumors that the Lakers might deal Lonzo this offseason, saying if they did, it would be the "worst move they ever made."
Jemele Hill of The Undefeated had a humorous but thoughtful idea on the looming LeBron/LaVar relationship.
"I’m most interested in what happens with Lonzo Ball," Hill tweeted. "If he’s not included in any future deals to bring another star, LeBron being there is going to force LaVar to be quiet. Let him pop off about LeBron at any point, and they’ll put Lonzo in a one-way U-Haul with some Cliff bars."
Others pointed out that LaVar himself had foretold this moment back in January, predicting LeBron would become a Laker.
If Lonzo Ball is still in a Lakers uniform come fall, things could get very interesting for the new Showtime.