L.A. Times Leaves Lonzo Ball Off the Front Page

An odd editorial choice

It was predicted, expected and guaranteed by dad. Thursday night, the Los Angeles Lakers selected native son and UCLA star Lonzo Ball with the #2 lottery pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Although you wouldn’t know it from today’s Los Angeles Times front page.

It’s a surprising editorial choice. Elsewhere, The Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, L.A. Opinión, Pasadena Star-News and Long Beach Press-Telegram all place Ball’s selection squarely on A1. The English-language papers are affiliated, so the copy sourced across the board is a story by OC Register sportswriter Bill Oram.

As Oram reminds, the news here is not just that Lonzo and familial entourage are joining the Lakers. It’s that the selection of the Chino Hills native comes on the heels of a certain someone joining the other STAPLES Center NBA team this same week:

The two teams of Los Angeles are engaged in a heavyweight prize fight, at least at the managerial level.

Magic Johnson vs. Jerry West? Vegas drools; Mayweather/McGregor can’t hold a candle to that. …

West had a hand in every championship this city’s preeminent franchise won from the time it arrived from Minneapolis. Hired this week as a Clippers consultant, he leveled his focus on his new team and said, “They’ve had the best team in town for seven straight years.”

Those words cut deep and the purple and gold plasma flowed.

Putting on the L.A. Times front-page hat for a moment, imagine how attention-catching a (presumably available) photo of this would have been. Again, from Oram’s piece:

When Lonzo grabbed a Lakers hat off a stand, his dad pulled out headwear of his own: a purple and gold cap emblazoned with “BBB,” the initials of LaVar’s entrepreneurial vehicle, “Big Baller Brand.”

Images courtesy: newseum.org

@hollywoodspin rhorgan@gmail.com Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.