I will start this off by saying I respect LaVar Ball’s hustle when it comes to his business, Big Baller Brands. He has found himself time and again in front of cameras and microphones promoting how great his company is. A lot of that spotlight has come by way of his oldest son, Lonzo Ball, being a top college basketball player at a premier school in UCLA, as well as being the number 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Lonzo will be dawning the purple and gold for his foreseeable career which means one thing, LaVar Ball is going to be in the media, a lot. Now, I will say I think his gear is outrageously priced, I will also say I know I’m not his target audience. With BBB t-shirts starting as low as $50 dollars, along with his hat line, and the shoes going from $225 to over $1,000, LaVar is clearly targeting the high-dollar spenders. LaVar has found a target audience and is attacking it head first, for that I give him props.
LaVar has claimed he can beat Jordan one-on-one. LaVar also claims he and his youngest son LaMelo could beat Shaq and his son, Shareef. Ball also believes he and LaMelo can beat the team of Lebron and Jordan. Now, does this make LaVar delusional? Yes, and no. See LaVar knows that no one will ever call him out on it, he will never have to actually step on the court with any of these players. This is a trip in the HOV lane for LaVar, he can run his mouth all day long at high speeds and never have to worry about being stopped, or owning up to it. That is also a brilliant business decision, everyone so desperately wants to get the next “LaVar Ball hot take” that it keeps him relevant in the media, thus keeping his brand and sons relevant as well.
Here’s what I don’t like about LaVar Ball. Lavar is bad for the game of basketball. Full disclosure, I am approaching this as a basketball coach myself. I dislike how he operates when it comes to him “coaching” his son, LaMelo’s AAU team, you guessed it, the Big Ballers. I use “coaching” loosely because I’m unsure that you can call what LaVar does actual coaching. He’s terrible at it. Coaching has so much more to do with winning at losing at the high school level. You are empowered more to help kids grow in their sport and as men/women of their generation than to win. LaVar Ball has begun to teach a generation of kids that it’s okay to quit and throw tantrums, as long as you get your way. Not once, BUT TWICE LaVar Ball has pulled his team off the court to forfeit a game. The first instance, on July 22 they were playing a tournament playoff game THEY WERE UP 9, LaVar yells at a ref that a call he made “wasn’t a foul” then proceeds to question the referee’s manhood, then use profane language toward the referee to describe said call. After the tirade LaVar motions his players off the court, they follow, they forfeit a game in which they were up 9 because LaVar got his feelings hurt. This is how I know LaVar isn’t a real coach. Real coaches dig through adversity on the sidelines so we can prove to our kids that you must continue to push forward in life even when things aren’t going your way. It costs money to play at the AAU level, equipment, hotels, travel, gear, tournament fees, all of these things are being paid by the parents of the kids you are supposedly coaching, and you have the audacity to throw the parents money away because you didn’t like a call. I respectfully tell you to grow up, sir.
That was only instance number one, instance number two happened a mere six days later on July 28th. During an Adidas AAU basketball tournament, LaVar Ball was issued an in-game technical foul by a female ref (that’s important). LaVar then became outraged told the ref she needs to “stay in her own lane” (shockingly enough that’s a phrase from one of his t-shirts). He then spoke with an Adidas tournament official, requested to have her removed and a new referee brought in. WHICH ADIDAS GRANTED!! They should be ashamed of themselves for setting that kind of example. Once Adidas replaced the female referee with a new, male ref. LaVar proceeded to receive another technical, two technicals means you are ejected from the game, he then refused to leave the court and the referee’s had to put a stop to the game. This whole situation is disgusting, Adidas obliged the requests of someone who doesn;t know how to handle himself as a coach or in public any ways, and then after they make a terrible mistake, LaVar goes on and gets another technical, which leads us to believe that it’s him. He is the problem.
After the game, LaVar had quotes such as “if you’re going to be qualified you better be in shape, and you better know the game. And she’s bad at both of them..” You know the worst part? These families put their kids on this team because they wanted them to get noticed. They’re hitching their name and child to LaVar in hopes he can get them somewhere. However, at the end of the day, LaVar only proves to me that he cares about one person, himself. If the spotlight isn’t on LaVar, then the spotlight isn’t on at all. I have been a high school basketball coach for four years, and I can absolutely tell you that LaVar Ball has done nothing but set us back and given us a black eye. You, sir, don’t know the first thing about what it takes to change a child’s life through basketball. You don’t know what it’s like to walk a child from 13 years old to 17 years old, see them walk across the stage and go into life with the knowledge that you have instilled in them. You care only about yourself, you definitely don’t care about making these kids better. You don’t know the first thing about being a Head Coach, or basketball. I can tell you with complete certainty I will coach circles around you. In addition, you better believe I will teach you a few things about what it’s like to mentor a group of high school kids to make them better, stronger, and smarter. Until you learn how to do that stay off my sideline, “coach”.