Did Lonzo and LaVar Ball’s WWE Raw Cameo Upstage the NBA Awards?

Trust the booming personality of LaVar Ball to find a way of upstaging one of the NBA’s glitziest nights of the year.

The first NBA Awards went off without a hitch in New York City, even if the evening lacked some of the NBA’s biggest names in LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard. It was fine. Russell Westbrook collected the MVP award that should have been handed out months ago while Draymond Green, the new Defensive Player of the Year, gave a speech that didn’t poke fun at LeBron James.

In Los Angeles, Ball was taking advantage of a unique marketing opportunity afforded to him by Monday Night Raw, the WWE’s flagship professional wrestling show.

Ball was introduced by Mike ‘The Miz’ Mizanin, one of WWE’s resident villains who plays the part of a conceited Hollywood celebrity, on his mock television show ‘Miz TV.’

“Since we are in my adopted town of Los Angeles, California,” The Miz intoned. “I have an announcement that will change the WWE Universe forever.

“My guest tonight is the only celebrity that has been talked about as much as The Miz this past year,” he continued. “My guest willed his goal into existence this past Thursday at the NBA Draft.”

Out walked Ball, clearly relishing the limelight, with younger son and UCLA commit LaMelo beside him.

“Big Baller Brand in the house,” Ball shouted, wasting no time in getting to plugging his company. “This is what we do,” he said while standing in front of mannequins sporting ‘Big Baller Brand’ T-Shirts.

As expected from his interviews, Ball Senior can cut a promo. Introducing eldest son Lonzo as the “face of the Lakers” seemed to generate heat from the crowd, although Lonzo came out to cheers at Staples Center, where he will be playing his basketball next season.

“I’m happy to be in Staples Center for the first time,” Lonzo said to loud cheers.

The peace couldn’t last, of course. LaVar took exception to Intercontinental Champion Miz’s suggestion that he and Big Baller Brand were now a “partnership.”

“How many championships have you won?” Miz asked LaVar and Lonzo, before poking the crowd by reminding them of UCLA’s loss to Arizona in the Pac-12 semifinals.

Miz and Ball prepared to fight, before Dean Ambrose—Miz’s storyline rival—came down the ramp wearing a Big Baller Brand shirt, setting up a tag-team match in the next segment.

And that was it, really. Ball may have sold some more shoes, LaMelo looked like an overawed teenager, and the Big Baller Brand got several large plugs. It certainly felt more chaotic than the carefully-choreographed events in New York, even if the WWE has moved to a more child-friendly product in recent years.

As for Lonzo? This may have been a fun break from the stress of the NBA Draft, but the pressure is back on now. The "Face of the Lakers" will be back in Staples Center in the fall and by then, nothing will be scripted any more.