Zaprudering Joel Embiid and LaVar Ball's Encounter
Surely you’ve seen the video of Joel Embiid and LaVar Ball encountering each other in the bowels of the Wells Fargo Center after the game last night.
If you haven’t, here is the video originally captured by Zach Gelb:
— Zach Gelb (@ZachGelb) December 8, 2017
I’ve been trying to process this all morning. There’s a lot going on here, and moments like this are why I’ve always been obsessed with the inner workings of sports stadiums and once filmed my own sequel to Sudden Death in my basement and set it at McNichols Sports Arena in Denver – I drew up schematics and fake kicked the shit out of my neighbor – because there’s always something going on.
First off, who the HELL is this guy if he’s not LaVar Ball? I thought it was LaVar Ball. Please tell me he brings with him a body-double to make quick escapes (more likely, it’s his brother). And why is LaMelo not in school? Does he go to school? I know he plays basketball for a school, but does he actually go there or is he just now a celeb and we should stop asking questions? [Real-time update: He was pulled out of school and signed with an agent because fuck everything.]
Hey yo, boy! Hey yo, boy!
Not sure if that’s Lavar or someone else, but don’t call Joel boy.
Oh fuck me. LaVar is so obnoxiously loud. His booming voice fills that space in a way that only his could. [Fun fact: Sometimes I walk around my house yelling “BIG BALLER BRAND, BABY!” My wife may leave me.] Have we ever talked about how weirdly shaped and old-ass he is? Like he looks like this larger than life hardass on TV, but in full-frame shots he walks like a he just took a shit and is unsure if anyone will notice. One step, two step, LaVar. This isn’t hard.
Though this is the only video from the encounter, there is a full-on camera crew filming this. It’s for LaVar’s reality show, to which: Is every NBA arena just granting LaVar and his crew all-access passes? The Lakers banned media from an area where family gathers after the game so they could shut him up, but somehow he has unfettered access with a film crew. I, for one, firmly believe that the NBA should line every area with cameras. From the moment a player walks in the building, they should expect to be filmed. The league is already something close to a reality show, why not just go all-in? Either way, I look forward to seeing the other side of this exchange.
It seemed like both of them were genuinely in on the joke here. But Embiid, in a way, is everything LaVar is not. He can lob bombs and shit talk and still have everyone like him, maybe because of the big smile he has. LaVar, though, he kind of does the same thing in his own way, comes across as an asshole. Maybe because there’s a parenting factor involved here. Either way, I saw someone, I forget who, mention on Twitter last night that LaVar has no place as the elder statesman to give Embiid voice or any kind of pep talk. Like, thanks, LaVar, but I think Joel’s got this.
What did I miss?
There’s another video showing LaVar talking to Freddie Mitchell (UCLA guy), and boy does he look bad:
FredEx & Lavar Ball talking shop. pic.twitter.com/T3UatuZ2s2
— Casey Feeney (@caseyfeeney66) December 8, 2017
Hey, yo, Freddie, maybe work in a salad every once in a while, or run a lap. 4th and 260. FredExtra Cheese.
What a spot on Earth this was. LaVar, stadium workers, media, Joel, and Freddie Mitchell.