Bean: Sorry, Lonzo Ball's commercial isn't that funny

Bean: Sorry, Lonzo Ball's commercial isn't that funny

My favorite quote, and the only one by which I try to live, came from Conan O’Brien on his last episode of “The Tonight Show.” Paraphrased, it was “don’t be an a-hole.” Harvard grad that he is, he put it more eloquently. 

“All I ask is one thing, and I’m asking this particularly of young people that watch: Please do not be cynical. I hate cynicism. For the record, it’s my least favorite quality; it doesn’t lead anywhere," he said. "Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen. I’m telling you, amazing things will happen.”


I can take or leave the “amazing things will happen” part, but the beginning of the quote was one of those “this singer wrote this song for me” moments. I completely identify with it, and it's probably why I spend so much time arguing with Felger.

People who are cynical for the sake of being cynical are the worst. Let people enjoy what they want to enjoy and don’t waste your time looking for problems with every little thing. When you’re cynical, you’re usually an a-hole, and you really don’t need to be. 

That’s why I feel terrible today. The Lonzo Ball Foot Locker commercial isn’t that good and I’m going to lose my damn mind over it being treated like it’s some work of art. I'm so rattled by the praise it's getting that I'm going to be a little cynical. 

The commercial dropped Wednesday morning, featuring NBA prospects discussing their fathers ahead of Father’s Day and the NBA draft. Jonathan Isaac, De’Aaron Fox and Jayson Tatum share their stories of going to practices and games together, and mixed in with the mundane are Lonzo Ball’s stories about how crazy his dad is. When you first realize the joke, it’s cute.

Cute. That’s it. Not “hilarious.” Not “phenomenal.” Not “fantastic.” It was kind of enjoyable. 

So like Elaine with “The English Patient” (I’m sorry I had to go with that obvious a reference), I felt like a crazy person seeing each and every person on the internet trip over themselves to say how great it was. 

Really, I get why this happens. It’s the same as when anyone laughs at Bill Belichick calling social media platforms by made-up names for the thousandth time. It isn’t very funny, but we love these sports figures, so we laugh. 

That shows how disconnected from real life sports fans and media can be. We all have loved ones whose jokes we’ll laugh at even when they’re not funny, because it’s mean and unnecessary to go out of your way to say they aren’t. But the reaction to this commercial isn’t just laughing as a courtesy. It’s the entire sports world saying that its sense of humor is so bland that this commercial brings words like “phenomenal” to mind. 

This isn’t to say that Lonzo Ball isn’t funny. I don’t know the guy, but I can guess LaVar was a million percent on board with this video, making these “Oh, look, Lonzo gets it” takes stupid. Did anyone think Lonzo Ball didn’t think his father was a lunatic? We’ve only seen this mess for a few months. He’s had it his whole life. Of course he knows how crazy it is. 

And it's certainly not to say athletes aren't funny, because a lot of them are hilarious. Roberto Luongo is an absolute genius. Paul Bissonnette? Terrific. Between the United Way commericial and the Herb Alpert locker room sketch, Peyton Manning was delightful on SNL. 

But this commercial was decent and mildly amusing. No more, no less. Comedy and sports don’t cross over too often; we don’t have to act like it’s hilarious ever time they do. 

Did Suns ask Josh Jackson to cancel his Celtics workout to keep him from Boston?

Did Suns ask Josh Jackson to cancel his Celtics workout to keep him from Boston?

BOSTON – It appears there may be an answer to the mystery surrounding Josh Jackson’s decision to not work out for the Boston Celtics leading up to Thursday’s NBA draft.

While conventional wisdom tells us that such decisions are often made by the agent who in this case is former NBA player B.J. Armstrong.

Boston instead selected Jayson Tatum at No. 3 with the Phoenix Suns scooping up Jackson with the No. 4 pick.

MORE: Danny Ainge on Josh Jackson: 'He didn’t want to play for the Celtics'

During Jackson’s introductory press conference, there was a sense that it wasn’t necessarily Armstrong who strong-armed Jackson into not working out for the Celtics. But apparently, he got an assist from Suns General Manager (and ex-Celtics assistant GM) Ryan McDonough.

A reporter asked McDonough if Phoenix may have encouraged Jackson to cancel his workout with the Celtics who were flying into Sacramento, Calif. to watch Jackson workout only for it to be canceled after they had departed which as you can imagine, did not go over well with Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations.

“I’d like to consult my attorney B.J. Armstrong (Jackson’s agent),” McDonough said, smiling.

The more McDonough talked, the clearer it became that he and Armstrong were in cahoots to do all they could to get Boston to pass on Jackson at No. 3 which as McDonough mentioned, doesn’t break any rules.

“You guys all know my history with the Celtics and the respect I have for Danny Ainge and the organization,” McDonough told reporters on Friday. “But I think you guys who know me well know how competitive I am. Look, it is a competition. The Celtics were ahead of us at No. 3 and they could have selected whoever they wanted to. I think they got a very good player in Jayson Tatum, but that doesn’t mean B.J. and I and … other members of my staff couldn’t talk and try to formulate the best plan to get a player we were really high on to a place we felt he really wanted to go and would be a great fit for him.”

McDonough is right in that no rules were broken if he and Armstrong did decide to work together in an effort to get Jackson to Phoenix.

But to cancel the workout after the Celtics executives and head coach Brad Stevens had left, forcing them to spend a night on the road for a workout that Jackson’s camp probably knew wasn’t going to happen well before the Celtics contingent boarded for Sacramento … not cool.

Here are words I thought I would never say … the Ball clan got it right.

They told Boston from the jump that Lonzo Ball wasn’t going to work out for them, so the Celtics knew he didn’t want to be a Celtic from the very beginning.

Jackson’s actions said the same, but his words kept hope alive that he would work out or at the very least, talk to the Celtics organization – neither of which happened.

He kept referring to the fact that he didn’t think Boston was interested in him when they had the number one pick (that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense if they asked him to work out for them; otherwise, what’s the point from the Celtics'  perspective of asking to work out a guy they had no interest in drafting?)

After they traded down to the number 3 pick, a deal that was cemented last weekend, Jackson said there wasn’t time to do a workout for Boston.

The draft was nearly a week away and he didn’t have time to work out for a team that had the third pick overall knowing that the top two picks (Markelle Fultz at No. 1 and Lonzo Ball at No. 2) were essentially accounted for?

“If I could have, I probably would have worked out for them,” Jackson said (with a straight face). “But I think everything worked out for the best.”


Boston will once again be among the better teams in the East and will contend for the best record like they achieved this past season before their season ended in the Conference finals to Cleveland. 

Jackson will spend his rookie season playing a lot of minutes with a Suns team that probably won’t win as many games as he did a year ago at Kansas (33).


Report: Celtics could land George if they sign Hayward

Report: Celtics could land George if they sign Hayward

As rumors swirl in this post-draft, pre-free agency week for the NBA, Adam Kaufman of 98.5 The Sports Hub reported Friday that the Celtics could land long-rumored target Gordon Hayward AND trade for Paul George. And Kaufman says George would be more than just a one-year rental.

Kaufman elaborated on a possible George deal on his "Celtics @ 7" show Saturday. He said the trade with the Indiana Pacers wouldn't cost Boston next year's Brooklyn pick, rather it would be the first-round pick (Lakers 2018 or Kings 2010) acquired this week from the Philadelphia 76ers when Boston traded down the No. 1 for No. 3, along with Jae Crowder and another salary filler. 


Before you run out and buy that No. 13 Celtics Paul George jersey, Dan Feldman of explains how financially disadvantageous it would be for George - long thought to want to head to the Lakers - to do this.