This year the world has gotten very familiar with Lavar Ball. He is the father of UCLA star point guard Lonzo Ball and he also has 2 other sons who are promising basketball prospects. Lavar has made the national spotlight due to some of his outrageous statements and just being a highly visible parent of potential top 3 draft pick. Now for the most part I have always defended Lavar Ball and rejected the idea that he needed to fall back out of the spotlight.
I feel like Mr. Ball is an involved parent who feels like he is the best one to help his sons reach stardom. He is no different than Archie Manning, Earl Woods, Joe Jackson and Richard Williams. Is he outspoken? Well yes, he is. That being said it seems like people love to throw cameras and microphones in his face. Hey the media loves content and Ball is ready to give it to you.
I hope that UCLA makes to the Final Four because the world needs a little more of Lavar Ball. Maybe the people at Turner will take the television gold of him getting some live back and forth with Charles Barkley. As fun as he is sometime, there may be a line that was crossed. Last week Ball made news by stating that his kids were more set up for success than Lebron James children. Lavar’s point was that no superstar has ever raised another NBA star. This prompted Lebron to tell Mr Ball “keep my kids’ name out of your mouth”.
This is an instance where somebody like Ball can be so right and at the same time be so wrong. To be fair there are no examples of great NBA players whose sons turned out to be great. There have been good players who sons have taken it to the next level like a Steph Curry. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible and who knows that the future holds. Lebron felt a need to speak on the issue and Ball felt the need to double down on his comments.
Lebron has 2 sons that are 12 and 9 years old. These boys are young basketball players who have enough pressure on them just being the sons of Lebron James. Mind you they are playing in a world that already tries to monetize young hoop talent if your dad is not a star. Not trying to speak for Lebron but he probably wants his kids to grow up as normal as possible. When dealing kids of that age who knows if basketball will be a long-term part of their futures. Right now, the only thing they should be worried about is having fun with the game. The last thing he needs is them to end up in a big media story while somebody is using them to prop up their own interest.
The Ball boys are talented. Lavar can promote his sons on their own merit without bringing anybody else’s kids. Hopefully he will learn that everything doesn’t always have to be said even if it is how you feel.
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter Keith’s Twitter