One of the fascinating stories in college basketball this season has been the play of UCLA star guard Lonzo Ball and the braggadocio of his father Lavar. At various times over the past several months, Lavar has claimed: He could beat Michael Jordan 1-on-1 in his prime. That he wants a billion dollar shoe deal for his sons’ right off the bat upon them entering the NBA. That Lonzo was better than Steph Curry and other myriad statements that has set the basketball world ablaze on Twitter.
Recently, in an interview with Chris Broussard, Ball made some comments about LeBron James’ kids and LeBron felt that they crossed a line. From ESPN’s Dave McMenamin:
“Keep my kids’ name out of your mouth. Keep my family out of your mouth,” James said of LaVar Ball to ESPN on Tuesday, as the Cavaliers practiced on UCLA’s campus, two days after a road victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
“This is dad to dad. It’s a problem now.”
“He can talk all about his brand, talk about his sons, talk about basketball, talk about me,” James told ESPN. “But keep my family out of this.”
The comments that James were referring to are the following, courtesy of Chris Broussard’s In The Zone podcast:
“The monsters in the NBA, their dads wasn’t that good,” Ball said. “They were OK, they was players, but the fact that the old [Dell] Curry wasn’t no All-Star, he wasn’t cold. He could shoot the ball, though. Kobe Bryant, his dad wasn’t all that, that’s why he’s such a monster.
“You got LeBron, it’s going to be hard for his kids because they are going to look at them like, ‘You got to be just like your dad.’ And after a while, that pressure starts sitting on you like, ‘Why do I got to be just like him? What can’t I just be me?’ And then they are going to be like, ‘Aw, you’re soft, you’re not that good.’ Because the expectation is very, very high.”
These comments come after LaVar made his statements about Jordan and following media coverage of his college career at Washington State, in which he averaged 2.2 points and 2.3 rebounds in one season. Clearly, he’s attempting to make the case that just because he wasn’t great doesn’t mean his sons won’t be. However, LeBron was also understandably miffed by the comments. At any rate, LeBron Jr. and Bryce Maximus James seem to be doing just fine in AAU ball at the moment.