NBA

LaVar Ball Isn’t Going Away Anytime Soon

If you’ve missed LaVar Ball in the time since he’s been out of the public eye, you’re in luck. The father of three is looking to return in a big way when his son LaMelo Ball is drafted by the NBA. It’s not the first time LaVar has been outspoken about one of his sons pursuing a career in the NBA. Remember LiAngelo and Lonzo Ball?

Since LaMelo is his youngest and last son to enter the NBA, LaVar is almost done, right? Not necessarily.

LaVar Ball’s three sons

LaVar seems like a bigger hindrance to his sons than a help. Basketball fans remember the rant Ball went on in late 2018 when son Lonzo was with the Lakers.

He criticized LA’s coaching, as USA Today reports, saying that when you had both Lonzo and the greatest best player in the world in LeBron James, he didn’t understand how you couldn’t win the championship. LaVar went on to say he could coach the team with his eyes closed with that kind of talent.  

The 52-year-old told the Lakers they needed his other two sons, LiAngelo and LaMelo because it would be like acquiring Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. The year before, he’d called out then-Laker coach Luke Walton, saying he’d lost control of the locker room. Walton handled the comments with good humor, but LaVar’s comments lingered for weeks. 

The rise of LaMelo Ball

LaVar’s youngest son possesses anything but an ordinary path to the NBA. With several overseas stops, runs with three pro leagues, and a sting with a high school team, LaMelo has constantly traveled while honing his skillset.

While many take issue with the way LaVar handled his son’s childhood, he is unapologetic. He explained that LaMelo’s friends saw movies and went to proms, but they aren’t driving in Lamborghinis or G-Wagons now like he is. Whenever the subject of LaMelo’s upbringing comes up, LaVar doesn’t concern himself with the impact his decisions may have on his sons.

Most teens aren’t pulled out of high school to go on world tours and join basketball leagues as LaMelo did. In spite of this, it seems like LaMelo is a serious NBA draft prospect this upcoming June. Many are fearful that his father’s outspokenness will make good teams shy away from drafting the young, promising player.

A father’s rant and a son’s future

The one season LaMelo played in Australia ended with an injury. Even so, many expect the 18-year-old to be a top-three selection in the NBA draft. Now if only his father would step out of the way.

It’s not the first time LaVar has done this. When his son Lonzo entered the NBA, LaVar got very vocal and opinionated.

When LaVar’s merchandise company, Big Baller Brand, reopened this month, sons Lonzo and LaMelo distanced themselves from it, reports USA Today. And for good reason.

The initial launch was riddled with problems. There were delays in shipping, complaints about the cost of the high-priced shoes, and then cofounder Alan Foster was accused of embezzling millions from the family.  The relaunched website does not not mention any of the three sons.

Recently Chris Rivers, Big Baller Brand’s new manager, suggested LaVar might want to refrain from being so outspoken. He cautioned that it could negatively impact his son’s draft stock. LaMelo’s manager Jermaine Jackson tried talking to LaVar with similar concerns, only to anger him.

When an NBA scout asked LaVar how he would feel if his son got drafted at No. 1 but only played 12 minutes a game, it didn’t go well. LaVar’s rant gave NBA teams interested in his son a lot to think about. Would it be worth drafting LaMelo and ending up in a dispute like the one with Walton?

It’s not an appealing prospect, particularly if LaMelo begins his NBA career on the bench. Given a chance to put himself aside for the sake of his son’s future, LaVar doubled down on the behavior that’s making prospective teams hesitant to draft LaMelo. Interested fans watching the NBA draft will have to wait to see how the talented player fares. 

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