Column

LaVar Ball, Father of Lonzo, LiAngelo, and LaMelo

As the college basketball season comes to an end, Lonzo and his father LaVar Ball are just getting started. Everyone not living under a rock, sports fan or not, knows who LaVar and Lonzo are. Lonzo’s freshman year has put his name in the conversation as the most talented and NBA-ready player in the country and has made tons of headlines all season for the great things he’s done on the court while rejuvenating UCLA’s program to a place it hasn’t been since the Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love days.

LaVar has made just about as many headlines as his basketball playing son because of his truly authentic and quite controversial demeanor and parenting style that many, including myself, aren’t fond of.

Some say Ball is simply a business man, trying to set his boys up to be successful and wealthy for life beyond what they’ll make by shooting a basketball. Others will say he’s another story of a former athlete living vicariously through his kids’ successes. Personally, I believe both sides. After talking to a more business-minded individual about this situation, it’s clear he’s trying to build the Big Baller Brand, while already negotiating endorsements for his oldest son, which is completely fine.

The only major problem with this situation has been father Ball’s persistent effort to stay relevant in the media by making all these blind, off-the-wall statements. Even statements that include not only Lebron James, but his 12-year old kid, saying he won’t live up to his father’s legacy.

I was taught that it’s a father’s job to support, guide and teach their kids. Especially at 19 or 20 years old. Not steal the show from them and turn their success into a personal reality show or a publicity stunt to draw more attention to yourself. This honestly shouldn’t be an issue anymore, but the media continues to give him attention by putting him on television and interviewing him and drawing more attention to him. Until this stops, his rampage will continue.

Ball has three sons: Lonzo, who just declared for the NBA draft, LiAngelo, who will be a freshman at UCLA next season and LaMelo, who will be a junior at Chino Hills next year but has already committed to UCLA. Maybe LaVel will change his tune in the next few years and actually take a backseat role to the real talent, his kids. Until then, I guess we have to live with LaVar’s ways.

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