Doug Robinson: LaVar Ball is the man and mouth that can’t be stopped

SALT LAKE CITY — Stage parents are nothing new to sports; we’ve all seen them (or been one). But when it comes to greatness — that is to say awfulness — maybe nobody this side of Marv Marinovich or Earl Woods has ever topped LaVar Ball.

By now you probably know Ball’s M.O., but just in case: He’s the blowhard dad who has used the careers of his basketball-playing sons to sell sneakers, make money, promote himself and annoy as many people as possible in the process.

In short, he won’t shut up. He has singlehandedly confounded basketball officials and coaches at every level of the game — AAU, high school, college, NBA — and no one has figured out how to make this guy go away.

Ball is the Khloe Kardashian of sports, with an insatiable need for attention and a lucrative, shameless talent for getting it. It’s a tried-and-true formula that worked for Dennis Rodman and Terrell Owens, among others. Ball plays the media like a guitar. All he has to do is say something outrageous or obnoxious and his words get broadcast to the world.

Which brings us to the latest outburst. Ball has fomented a controversy that has caused the media to examine the strange incestuous workings of its business, which actually isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you can stomach the source.

Ball criticized Lakers coach Luke Walton, for whom his son Lonzo plays.

“You can see they (the players) are not playing for Luke no more,” he said. “Luke doesn’t have control of the team no more. They don’t want to play for him.”

Ball said Walton is too young to be a coach and one reason he could tell the coach had lost his team is because the players don’t give high-fives when they leave the game.

That’s some tremendous analysis, all right (eye roll). Anyway, ESPN reported Ball’s statement, which proceeded to draw the ire of NBA coaches Rick Carlisle, Steve Kerr and Stan Van Gundy.

Carlisle called it a “disgrace” that ESPN reported Ball’s comments. He has a point. After all, who quotes the parents of players? What validity do they have? If you want an objective analysis of a team, parents are the last people you ask. Why give one of them a platform to disrespect and undermine coaches, NBA coaches wondered?

In protest, Van Gundy vowed not to attend a league-mandated meeting with ESPN’s announcing team prior to his …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


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