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LaVar Ball: Camera chasing since 2016

Mark Makowski, Opinion Co-Editor

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“Back in my heyday, I would kill Michael Jordan one-on-one.”

This is the quote that started the media frenzy around LaVar Ball, who is the father of UCLA basketball player Lonzo Ball. Since his son Lonzo has put on the Golden Bears jersey and has taken the team on a deep tournament run, his father believes he has become more entitled to say whatever outlandish thoughts are in his head.

Let’s look back at the quote about Michael Jordan who is the current owner of the Charlotte Hornets and considered by almost everyone as the greatest player in NBA history.

I am not sure when Mr. Ball thinks his heyday was. He attended Washington State for the 1987-88 season and averaged a whole 2.2 points per game. Let’s compare that to Michael Jordan’s last season in 2002-03 with the Washington Wizards when then 39-year-old Jordan averaged 20 points per game. But don’t worry, he’s just getting started.

He then started bashing Charles Barkley who, in his prime, was a force to be reckoned with. Barkley, who is now a pre and post game broadcaster for Turner Sports, vowed to don the jersey of the opponent that UCLA is facing throughout the rest of the tournament. Barkley clarified his purpose for this, saying it is a statement against Lavar Ball and not Lonzo or the UCLA team.

I also do not understand what LaVar Ball thinks he is doing in these sound bites. In the long run they will do more damage to his son than they ever will to help him, especially when he makes comments saying that his son will only play for the Lakers. 

This is something that fathers of athletes have done in the past. One example would be Eli Manning who was originally drafted by the then San Diego Chargers in 2004, when his father expressed desire for his son to not play there. Manning would be traded to the New York Giants on the same day.

But after making these statements and walking them back, he then says how Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan all have sons that are “wack.” Now while Mr. Ball was out camera chasing he must have neglected to notice that Shaq and Kareem are two of the best centers to ever play for the Los Angeles Lakers. And Magic Johnson also was also a monumental player in NBA history.

He is currently the President of Basketball Operations for the Lakers. So you are saying that your son will only play for the Lakers and then you bash the sons of the man who runs the Lakers. Smart move.

The one thing that bothers me overall is how LaVar Ball takes the spotlight away from his son and puts it on himself when that is completely wrong. Lonzo Ball has the opportunity to be a very good player in the NBA, I don’t believe he should enter the draft this year but that’s my opinion.

Also his overall style is also a problem. If you think your son is a great player, I’m not saying that you can’t say that publicly, but don’t go and say that he is better than most of the top stars in the NBA today.

If all goes right in my own life, I will be a sports broadcaster and maybe I will have a son or daughter who will be a prominent athlete.

However, I will cheer them on and root for their success, not go chase the cameras and say how they are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Hopefully as Lonzo Ball gets into the NBA and older he will space himself away from this media circus that his father has been cooking for months now.

However, there are two younger sons, so it seems like the name LaVar Ball will be floating about ESPN and other media outlets for years to come.

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The news of today reported by the journalists of tomorrow
LaVar Ball: Camera chasing since 2016