The Mind Of A Gentleman And Scholar: Lavar Ball

The Angry Youth League Dad Who Never Grew Up, Lavar Ball

The 2017 NBA draft is full of promising talent, but all the eyes are on Lavar Ball and his son Lonzo.

Remember that one dad who would storm the court during his son’s middle school basketball game and yell at the ref for a missed call or at the coach for benching his kid? Now imagine 6 inches taller, make him look like Steve Harvey without the mustache or likability, throw in a voice permanently stuck on loud and you have an idea of who Lavar Ball is.

For those of you who don’t know about the Ball family let me give you a brief summary. Lonzo Ball, Lavar’s eldest son, just finished his stellar freshman year at UCLA and expects to hear his name called within the first three picks at the NBA Draft next week. While Lonzo balls Lavar talks, taking shots at Lebron James, Steph Curry, Charles Barkley, and even Michael Jordan.

Mar 4, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Lavar Ball, father of UCLA Bruins guard Lonzo Ball (2), looks on in the stands before the game between the UCLA Bruins and the Washington State Cougars at Pauley Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports

Delusion and overconfidence I am fine with, my issue with Lavar stems from how his actions blatantly hinder his sons. He forced all three of his sons to commit to UCLA so that they will be close to him, the youngest had to do so at 14 without having any opinion on the matter. Or when he licensed their names to form a lifestyle brand (that sells ugly overpriced sneakers). Or when he said his eldest son won’t play for any team except the Lakers.

Every Lavar Ball article I read reminds me of the ex Oakland Raider, Todd Marinovich. From the day he was born, Todd’s father raised him to become the greatest quarterback of all time. He attended the college football powerhouse USC in 1989 and the “Robo Quarterback” became the biggest name in sports. After two seasons he declared for the NFL draft, where the Raiders selected him in the first round. He retired after two years in the NFL and has since battled addiction to methamphetamine. The tragedy came to an end in 2016 following an arrest where Marinovich broke into a home, naked and high on meth.

The amount of pressure and attention placed on the young Ball kids will be their destruction. Lavar will run them to the death just so he can sell some shoes and get to yell on ESPN, at the expense of his kids’ lives.

 

r208950_1600x800cc[1] MARCUS SMITH/ESPN
I want to see Demarcus Cousins knock Lonzo into the third row just as much as anyone else, but the kid did nothing wrong. He just wants to play basketball and he’s damn good at it. I hate Lavar Ball. LaMelo, the youngest of the ball brothers, can’t even drive a car yet but the world wants him to fail because of his father.

With the 2017 NBA Draft approaching, those kids have a 6’6 bulls-eye on their back, a searing spotlight, and the typical teen angst that comes with being a teenager. I want the kids to succeed, just without Lavar. Until Lavar Ball let’s his sons decide their own life, I will enjoy watching Steph Curry drop 40 on Lonzo while his dad screams from the sidelines.

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