Magic just might have a Jayhawk up his sleeve


Kansas guard Josh Jackson (11) throws a pass over Oregon guard Dylan Ennis (31) to the wing during the first half on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at Sprint Center.

Kansas guard Josh Jackson (11) throws a pass over Oregon guard Dylan Ennis (31) to the wing during the first half on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at Sprint Center. by Nick Krug

Lavar Ball, father of UCLA star point guard prospect, has had a blast making outrageous statements.

He’s a laugh riot, provided you can laugh about a man blowing his son’s shot at a $20 million shoe contract because he started his own shoe company and came up with a $495 price tag for a pair of sneakers.

Anyway, one of Lavar’s headline statements came when he said that his son Lonzo would sign only with the Lakers. Sure enough, the lottery gave the Lakers the second pick and most mock drafts have them selecting the local prospect.

Not so fast.

If I’m the Lakers, I throw a wrench into that scenario and draft a player who brings such intense competitiveness and has such a well-rounded game that he could get to work at establishing a winning culture from Day 1 and do it with a smile and smoothness made for Hollywood.

Josh Jackson’s a smiling assassin, just as the man making the decisions for the Lakers now was during his playing days.

Magic Johnson has a great appreciation for basketball players who excel in all areas because that’s how he won championships. Ball does that too, although he doesn’t get after it defensively to the same extent as Jackson. Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox, the draft’s quickest player, blew by him all day in the NCAA tournament.

Magic played at Michigan State and tried to get Jackson to do the same. He has known all about Jackson, his game, his fiery, competitive spirit and natural charisma for years. To know Jackson is to like him.

Magic's signature play was the no-look pass and now we're supposed to believe that now that everyone’s looking at Ball as the Lakers' obvious pick Magic’s going to telegraph a move for the first time in his life? Magicians, masters of illusion, don't let the rest of us behind the curtain.

Jackson would look great in purple and gold. His passes will remind Lakers fans of Magic's. His dunks will recall those of James Worthy. He'll defend the way Michael Cooper did. He'll play winning basketball in an unselfish way that will make veteran stars want to join him via free agency.

The draft isn’t until Thursday, June 22, by which time Lavar Ball might be planning to start a basketball league on Mars, one that charges $10,000 per ticket, excluding the cost of the roundball interplanetary roundtrip spaceship flight.

It will be a fascinating draft, especially if the Lakers pass on Ball and a few others do as well as the cameras zoom in on his father’s sweat beads.


John Fitzgerald 1 year ago

Tom, this might very well be your best article of the year. And I would love to see Jackson on the Lakers. Mainly for two reasons: 1.) He could help bring them back to relevance and 2.) LaVar Ball's head would explode.

Suzi Marshall 1 year ago

I was thinking the same thing reading the article. I also would love to see Jackson go to the Lakers for the same reasons you stated. However, my first choice would be that he played with Embiid in Philly. The coolest thing would be to see Jackson and Mason both go to Philly! The Lakers being my second choice ... for both of them. Side Note: Boston, PHX and NYC would also be great for Jackson.

The draft is certainly more exciting to follow when a couple of Jayhawks are on the line!!!!

Shannon Gustafson 1 year ago

NYC isn't a good destination for any basketball player right now, that organization is an absolute disaster. The Kings may be the only place that is as bad as the Knicks.

Tom Keegan 1 year ago

Thanks. Kind of you to put relevance as first reason, even though you didn't fool anybody by doing so.

Clara Westphal 1 year ago

Aren't Tarik Black and T-Rob also with the Lakers? That would make 3 Jayhawks if Josh would happen to there.

Creg Bohrer 1 year ago

That's if Josh is still on the board at #2. The Celtics could take Jackson because they already have a great point guard and a really solid back up so they don't need Fultz or Ball.

Glen Miller 1 year ago

If I had to put money on it....... The Celts trade this pick. They won't be picking #1 in my opinion. But if they keep it, Jackson would be the best option for them as they don't have a wing like him on their roster and another Point Guard with their pllayers doesn't make sense.

Shannon Gustafson 1 year ago

Celtics are going to trade away their point guard because he's due for a big contract and his limited defensive abilities are a large enough liability they know they can't win a title with him as their max contract guy. So they will trade him and either replace him with Fultz, or a veteran point guard.

Jason Roberts 1 year ago

  1. Draft Josh Jackson
  2. Get Paul George in 2018

Jackson - Ingram - George at the 2/3/4 would be interchangeable and a problem for teams with inferior length (aka everyone else).

Jay Hawk 1 year ago

As a Celtic fan i was really hoping they would get the 2nd or 3rd pick and take Jackson. I am not sold on Markelle as the number one pick and would rather have Jackson. I am just glad that we shouldn't end up with ball but with D.A. you never know. It would have brought his trade in a circle of KU players- Trading P.P. and getting Jackson would be great.

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