Posts Tagged ‘LaVar Ball’

As LaVar Ball oversees his youngest two sons’ professional basketball debut in Lithuania, his image stateside is taking a further battering. The hoops patriarch has been served with a lawsuit over money allegedly owed to a company that worked on embroidery for Ball’s Big Baller Brand apparel products.

Ball has not paid $25,000 owed to Closet Connection, a lawyer told USA Today’s A.J. Perez. “We haven’t even heard from him,” attorney Michael Sayer said.

The Big Baller Brand faced ridicule in many quarters after its launch last year, given the $495 price tag attached to Lonzo Ball‘s signature shoe, the ZO2. Recently, it has come to light that BBB has the lowest possible rating on the Better Business Bureau’s customer satisfaction grading system.

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Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr sees the public fawning over LaVar Ball as part of a bigger and more troubling trend.

Kerr compared the Ball family to the Kardashians as part of a larger critique of the media after LaVar slammed Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton.

“Somewhere, I guess in Lithuania, LaVar Ball is laughing. People are eating out of his hands for no apparent reason, other than that he’s become the Kardashian of the NBA or something,” Kerr said, according to Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle.

“That sells, and that’s what is true in politics, entertainment, and now sports. It doesn’t matter if there’s any substance involved in an issue.”

The Balls, like the Kardashians, have their own reality TV shows since people seem to hang on their every move. While they receive no shortage of negative public feedback, they still manage to stay relevant.

“This is not a condemnation of ESPN,” Kerr added. “It’s not. It’s a societal issue. It’s been going on for many, many years, and it’s really, I think, invading the sports world now.”

If there’s one true negative to LaVar Ball’s antics, it’s the fact that his 20-year-old son has to answer for some of them as an NBA rookie. And some in the Los Angeles Lakers organization are concerned about the toll that is taking on Lonzo Ball, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.

In LaVar’s most disruptive stunt yet as far as the Lakers are concerned, he suggested over the weekend that the team has checked out on head coach Luke Walton. That ignited a firestorm of backlash against the senior Ball, while his son attempted to distance himself from the remarks.

A source told Shelburne that Lonzo is more concerned with improving as a player than getting involved in controversy manufactured by his father, something he’s alluded to in the past.

“That is just his opinion,” Ball said of LaVar’s remarks Sunday, via the OC Register’s Bill Oram. “(LaVar) has coached me his whole life. So, he is definitely going to have a strong opinion about it. That’s just what it is.”

Ball has been shooting better since the beginning of December after a rough start. His court vision remains strong, averaging seven assists per game.

The Lakers have already asked LaVar to tone down public criticism of Walton, and have tried to mitigate the media circus around him at the Staples Center by keeping reporters away from him.

LaVar Ball’s list of detractors grows longer by the day.

Hall of Famer Charles Barkley is the latest to take aim at the controversial major domo of the Ball household, calling the 50-year-old father of Lakers rookie Lonzo and Lithuanian-bound teenagers LiAngelo and LaMelo untalented and exploitative on ESPN’s Golic and Wingo show.

Barkley pulled no punches in assessing Ball’s parenting skills and motivations:

I just feel sadness that the media – CNN, ESPN – has given this guy a platform. He represents everything that is bad about sports. It’s all about him. I just feel bad for those kids. Everybody talks about how he might be a good father, this and that. No he’s not; he’s just exploiting his kids. I love the kid playing for the Lakers. I don’t know about the other two kids. (LaVar) is all about “Big Baller Brand.” He has no foreseeable talent. He’s trying to make money on his kids, and I just feel sadness for those kids because they’re going to do whatever he tells them to do. I just don’t like the guy at all, plain and simple. And don’t tell me he’s a good father. Just because you exploit your kids, trying to make money because you have no talent, that does not make you a good father. That makes you exploiting your kids. And I don’t like the guy at all. And I wish they would quit putting him on television, because he has no talent whatsoever.

While Lonzo Ball won’t express it publicly, the Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard is frustrated with the way his team is playing, according to his father.

“He’s very disgusted but won’t say anything because he’s not used to losing like this,” LaVar said of his 20-year-old son Wednesday on SiriusXM NBA Radio.

The Lakers have lost five straight games and sit 11th in the Western Conference. While they have the eighth-best defensive rating in the league, their offense ranks among the league’s worst.

LaVar believes their woes can be fixed easily if “everybody would just drop their egos and just listen” to what he’s saying, and called out the head coach specifically over his purported mismanagement of Lonzo’s minutes.

“Luke Walton is doing what he’s doing, just like playing Lonzo in and out,” LaVar said. “Playing him a few minutes here, they wonder why his legs are sore. ‘Cause they’re running him a hundred miles per hour and then they shut him down for 10 minutes.”

LaVar added he doesn’t understand why the No. 2 pick isn’t starting fourth quarters and sometimes even spends the entire final frame on the bench.

Of course, it’s not the first time the loquacious dad has criticized the Lakers, and specifically, Walton’s decisions. He previously said the team was “soft” and didn’t know how to coach Lonzo. More recently, he said Walton’s decision to burn a timeout late against the Golden State Warriors cost Los Angeles the game and wasn’t a “Big Baller move.”

Lonzo is averaging 8.7 points while shooting just 31.3 percent from the field and 25 percent from deep, to go along with seven assists, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.3 steals in 32.9 minutes per game for the Lakers, who are on pace to miss the playoffs for the fifth straight year.

One of the most memorable television moments from WWE this year was LaVar Ball’s appearance on “Monday Night Raw” in June, when he took over “Miz TV.”

WWE had a script prepared for Ball and his two sons, Lonzo and LaMelo, but as The Miz revealed on a recent episode of the “Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast,”LaVar decided to improvise instead.

“I walk into their dressing room to go over the script … ‘This is what we’re kind of looking for, do you want to go over it?’ And (LaVar) goes, ‘Nah, we’re good.’ I go, ‘Are you sure?’ He goes, ‘Nah, we’re good.’ I go, ‘Alright, so I guess we’re just going to wing it out there,'” The Miz recalled.

When asked if Ball taking off his shirt was pre-planned, The Miz replied, “It was not planned at all. I was like, ‘I’m just gonna let him do his thing because guess what? People are going to be talking about it for months on end.'”

The Miz went on to praise Ball, particularly for how supportive he is of his children.

The developing feud between President Donald Trump and LaVar Ball isn’t Steve Kerr’s cup of tea.

Trump and Ball began a war of words over the weekend as a result of the former claiming credit for freeing three UCLA players, including Ball’s son LiAngelo, from detainment in China for alleged shoplifting. The players thanked Trump, but the Ball patriarch dismissed the role he played in liberating the trio, leading the president to state he “should have left them in jail.

While plenty were shocked by the U.S. head of state’s quotes, Kerr is simply tired of hearing about both outspoken individuals.

“Modern life … Two people seeking attention and they’re both getting it. I’m sure both guys are really happy. We know it would help if all of you just stopped covering both of them. Is that possible?” he asked the media during a scrum Sunday, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “You could probably stop covering LaVar; I don’t think you can stop covering the president.

“It would be nice for all of us if both of them could just be quiet. Wouldn’t that be great?”

It isn’t the first time the Golden State Warriors head coach has expressed frustration with either Trump or Ball.

In March, prior to the Los Angeles Lakers drafting Lonzo Ball, Kerr warned LaVar his constant bragging wouldn’t do his sons any favors. Kerr has also been public about his dissatisfaction with Trump, including in May, when he opined that the 71-year-old “couldn’t be more ill-suited to be president.”