Former Los Angeles Lakers guard Nick Young left the team for the Golden State Warriors in free agency last summer, but before he departed, he put on a clinic in how to use fame, the team’s extensive reach and platform to build a successful brand.
With antics on the court and hilarious comments to the media, Young went from journeyman and internet meme to creating a following for himself that allowed him to build his clothing brand “Most Hated” into a seemingly successful endeavor.
If anything, Young’s career path with the Lakers and the way he built a base for his personal brand with only modest success on the court was proof of concept for the way Lonzo Ball and his father would later leverage the NBA’s seccond-largest media market to create endless attention for them and their family.
With brands more important for NBA players than ever, Young told Lawrence Schlossman of Grailed that he has noticed what the Ball family is doing from afar and likes what he’s seen:
“Yeah, that’s so important marketing-wise, image-wise, especially now that the NBA is global. It’s fashion. It’s everything. Look at Ball. He’s got his own brand. Nobody thought about that. That’s daring. I respect it.”
Ball’s brand includes shoes and clothing as well as the Facebook show that has truly made the rest of his family celebrities.
They’ve done so through a combination of free marketing via articles on LaVar Ball’s bold proclamations about Lonzo and their international exploits in Lithuania, putting on a master class in getting the media to chase down all of their latest soundbites to feed an ever-hungry audience for them.
How sustainable that brand will be if Lonzo doesn’t continue to improve on the court remains to be seen, but at the very least, they have earned Young’s respect.