When you go to a little league game or any youth sporting event, you often hear that one person who is extremely vocal to a fault and is too outspoken. There is always that one parent who doesn’t know how to just sit there, be quite, and enjoy the game. These parents also put so much unecessary added pressure on their child to do well. The fun in youth sports has gone away and is hard to find. LaVar Ball fits the mold that I described and the media continues to fuel his fire by bringing attention to every little thing that he does.
For those of you who aren’t aware of who LaVar Ball is (highly unlikely if you are a sports fan), he is the outspoken father of UCLA star freshmen Lonzo Ball. Lonzo is projected to be one of the top 3 picks in this upcoming NBA Draft. I don’t know much about Lonzo the person, but he seems to be a solid young man who unfortunately gets unecessary and unwanted attention because of his outspoken father. His father has hyped up his son Lonzo and Lonzo’s other brothers who are high school stars at Chino Hills High School in California so much that LaVar Ball compared his oldest son Lonzo to Steph Curry. He stated that his son is a better player than Steph Curry. That is two time NBA MVP Steph Curry that he is referring to. Lonzo hasn’t even been drafted yet and hasn’t even played an NBA game yet and his father is already hyping him up so much. I understand being proud of your sons and wanting them to be the best that they can be, but to continue to come out with outlandish and ridiculous premature statements such as that is a whole different ballgame. LaVar Ball also called out UCLA’s white players and questioned their athleticism and quickness. He felt that the white players on the team were slowing the team down. Ball failed to mentioned in that same game that UCLA lost against Kentucky that his son Lonzo played awful and was completely dominated by Kentucky point guard and potential lottery pick D’Aaron Fox. LaVar, much like the typical little league or youth sporting event parent that we know, can only point the finger and criticize what other kids are doing wrong, but can’t look at and criticize what his own children are doing wrong. It is easy to place the blame on others, but to be able to put some of the blame on yourself or someone connected to you such as a family member is a different story and shows the true character of a person. LaVar doesn’t always hype up his own kids. He hypes himself up as well.
In an interview, LaVar Ball makes a ridiculous claim that he would destroy Michael Jordan one-on-one. This is the same Michael Jordan that is widely regarded as the greatest player to ever play the sport. Jordan played with so much determination, effort, and skill and was super competitive. You don’t win six rings without having that drive to be great. There were times where Jordan made other great players at his own position like Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler look like a second tier player. Let me clarify that Drexler wasn’t a second tier player. Jordan was simply put in a class of his own. Ball wasn’t even good enough to have a succesful college career. (Ball averaged two points a game!). Ball just wants to grab headlines and doesn’t seem to care much about what he is saying, as long as he can hype up his own brand.
Speaking of his own brand, LaVar Ball created his own brand called Big Baller Brand. Athletes such as LeBron James have created their own brand after their playing career has developed for a little bit, but Ball seems to want to jump in right away and hype up this brand that he created that consists of a draft prospect in his oldest son who hasn’t played a professional game yet, a player who will be attending UCLA as a freshman with his middle son, and his youngest son who is still playing in high school. Why would anyone and I am talking the major brands such as Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas want to get in on that action? Why would these companies want to jump in like that and work with a guy as demanding and power seeking as LaVar Ball. Simply put, they don’t. A story posted on Bleacher Report today stated that each of these companies have all passed on endorsing Lonzo Ball beacuse of LaVar Ball’s efforts to include the licensing of Big Baller Brand. Per ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Ball stated that “We’ve said from the beginning, we aren’t looking for an endorement deal. We’re looking for co-branding, a true partner. But they’re not ready for that because they’re not used to that model. But hey, the taxi industry wasn’t read for Uber, either.” Ball also presented a shoe prototype for Lonzo and went on about how someone owning their own brand before they went pro would help maximize profits. I understand that LaVar wants what is best for his children, but it has gotten to the point that LaVar is becoming too much of a distraction and Lonzo and his other brothers should cut ties with their father in regards to business decisions and their basketball futures.
Speaking of basketball futures, the future for Chino Hills high school is uncertain. After a 30-3 record this past season, Chino Hills decided to let go of Coach Stephan Gilling after a feud with LaVar Ball. According to the post on Bleacher Report, Ball and Gilling got into a verbal back-and-forth during the season and even had a falling out after a mid-game disagreement. The article gets into detail about how Ball put his imprint or two cents on the situation and tried to pretty much take over the team. The coaches relationship with Ball’s sons deteriorated. This man has so much power, or at least he thinks he does that he can get a coach coming off of a great season fired. LaVar Ball has become a distraction to everyone, but as I mentioned earlier, he will continue to be outspoken and voice his opinions as long as the media continues to hype him up and give him attention. If I were part of an NBA team that drafts Lonzo Ball, I would do whatever is possible to make sure that his father stays clear of causing a distraction to the team. The major problem with that is the fact that you can’t ban someone from an arena unless they do something wrong. Ball can attend the games all that he wants and has every right to do so, but if he tries to tell a professional coach or organization what to do, that type of behavior wouldn’t and shouldn’t fly! Like I said earlier, Lonzo and his brothers should cut ties with their father in regards to business decisions and their basketball futures.
Author: Nick Eberhardt
Image From Bleacher Report