Connecting The Dots: Lavar Ball, Drake, Malcolm Gladwell and Success

lavar ball and sons.jpg1. Lavar Ball

Lavar Ball is an interesting person. He is the person standing the far right. In this picture, he is standing with his sons, Lonzo Ball (far left), LaMelo Ball (to the right of Lonzo) and LiAngelo Ball (next over to the right, next to Lavar). All of his sons basketball stars; Lonzo is currently the starting point guard for the Los Angelos Lakers and the two younger brothers have a potential to be playing in the NBA as well.

What makes Lavar Ball interesting is his antics and confidence. The media portraits Lavar as a loud mouth father that pressures his sons into doing things they may not want to do. However, I see something completely different. Lavar, in my opinion, resembles Steve Jobs. He is a revolutionary genius in his own nature.

Lavar has been growing on me. I’ve tried to study him, exaimining where his thinking originates from and the way he thinks. After watching the Lavar Ball & Sons Interview on Breakfast Club Power 105.1 FM , I did not need to search for anymore answers. Lavar is ahead of the game. He is family oriented, with ‘god-like’ confidence, for a lack of better words.

What fascinates me more is that his confidence is backed up. It is backed up so much that, it sometimes scares me. From the business books I’ve read, and trust me I’ve read many of them, I truly do not see him failing.


2. Drake

Yes, the 6 God himself.

Drake has worked his way up to the top. He was born in Toronto, Ontario; his father was an African American man named Dennis Graham and his mother was a Jewish Canadian by the name of Sandi Graham.

Brad Farberman states in a article:

“In an interview with Office from earlier this year, Graham revealed that he met Drake’s mom at a 1983 Jerry Lee Lewis show at Toronto’s Skyline Hotel—his first time visiting Canada. At the bar that night, a woman named Sandi lent Dennis a cigarette. “And that was it,” he told Office. “I came back up there and we got married in June of ’85. We had Drake in October of ’86.”

Very little information about this fated night exists, but we did a little digging and discovered that, while Lewis didn’t do any Toronto shows in 1983, he did play a show at the Skyline Hotel on April 18, 1984 while promoting his album I Am What I Am. So, we’re thinking Graham just misremembered the year he met his ex-wife.”

Funny how things work out right? Look at what they’ve produced, a revolutionary artist who has swept the world off it’s feet for consecutive years since 2009.

malcolm gladwell.jpg

3. Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is a 54 year old writer and journalist. He is my favorite writer as well. I have not seen a book by him that is not a #1 National Bestseller and I have yet to read a book my him that does not fascinate me. He was born to Joyce and Graham Gladwell in Fareham, Hampshire, England. His mother is a psychotherapist and his father was a mathematics professor.

His writings are focused on psychology, social psychology and sociology. From these areas he has produced 5 books: Outliers, What the Dog Saw, Blink, David and Goliath, and The Tipping Point. My favorite so far is Outliers, and I definitely recommend it to anyone. The book focuses on what it takes for some people to be successful. The main points are timing, opportunities, legacy, the 10,000 hours it takes to master a skill, and doing meaningful work.

It is from Gladwell, that I’ve gained by understanding of success. The connection that Lavar, Drake and Gladwell all have came into view because of his writings.

4. Connecting the Dots

How are each of these people connected?


For a lack of better words.

Lets start from the top with Lavar. His personality is defiant and he stands out. He is loud and obnoxious, confident and willing. These are traits that one needs in order to bring in some type of attention. It is significant and very important. However, when it is combined with luck, we get what we see today – an innovative genius that will be hard to stop in the future.

If you do not believe me when I say it is luck, answer this question: How likely is it to have three sons with the potential to play NBA basketball that all have the last name, ‘Ball’?

— High school senior players who go on to play NCAA men`s basketball: Less than one in 35, or 2.9 percent.

— NCAA senior players drafted by an NBA team: Less than one in 75, or 1.3 percent.

— High school senior players eventually drafted by an NBA team: About three in 10,000, or 0.03 percent.

The image below from gives us a glimpse of the chances of a family having three offsprings that each have the same gender.

Screen Shot 2017-12-22 at 10.29.17 PM.png


Drake’s parents met after Sandi lent Dennis a cigarette. Both individuals could of been anywhere in the world at that point but the ended up at the same place and got married a year later.

Imagine if Drake was not born to an African American father. His words could not be the same. He would not be accepted the same as he was a Jewish Canadian kid. Stripping him of that essence would put him at a disadvantage. Furthermore, imagine if he was not born to Jewish Canadian mother. We would not have hits like “Hotline Bling” or “Find Your Love” as they were not the type of music that rappers made in his early years. This comes from a more sentimental side; a side that has not been the basis of hip hop. The melodic and soft side comes from a role that he wanted to play. Instead of taking on the ‘gangsta’ look that hip-hop artists usually have, we see Drake in a different light. He revolutionized hip-hop just as Lavar has revolutionized business.

Malcolm Gladwell connects to these two individuals by cultivating how we think about success. The book Outliers, contains valuable information that outlines the success of people like Drake and Lavar. This complex connection between the three shows that luck plays a big role in success. Timing is perfect for each occasion. The Universe throws us around all the time. It shakes up our life to shape us into who we are supposed to be.


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