Crazy parents in sports are nothing new, but LaVar Ball is a different breed.
He is the parent that you see walking around your local little league complex, telling every parent that his kid is the best player in the league, but there’s one major difference that sets Ball apart from all of the other sports parents.
With his outlandish statements, Ball has essentially painted a target on his kids’ backs and it is not fair to the three of them.
For the sake of Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo, it is time for Mr. Ball to stop talking and fade into the background as almost every other sports parent eventually does.
Forget about Ball saying crazy stuff about himself, like his ability to beat Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley in games of one-on-one. Some of the things that he says has shined unfair light on his kids, especially Lonzo.
It is not Lonzo saying that he could be the next Magic Johnson. It is not Lonzo saying that he would lead UCLA to a National Championship.
It is not Lonzo saying that he is going to be the savior of the Los Angeles Lakers. It is not Lonzo comparing himself to the likes of Stephen Curry.
That’s all LaVar and it’s unfair to his son.
By saying all of this, he is setting lofty expectations that Lonzo might not be able to reach. That’s not a knock on Lonzo, who is a sure-fire top five NBA Draft pick.
It’s unrealistic to compare a kid one year out of high school to one of the greatest point guards of all time in Johnson. It’s not fair to compare Lonzo to one of, if not the best shooters, of all time in Curry.
The ridiculous comparisons that LaVar is making is only the beginning of Lonzo’s problems. You can bet once he gets to the NBA that players will be gunning for him on a nightly basis because nobody wants to be the player that was lit up by the UCLA standout.
Not every NBA player is going to be as forgiving as LeBron James, who said that he respects Lonzo’s game but has no respect for LaVar.
Players are going to view Lonzo in a certain light because of his father. Lonzo is a relatively quiet guy who doesn’t talk all that much, but he is still being called out by other players such as fellow top-five projected player Markelle Fultz.
The sad part of it all is Lonzo never said anything to deserve that kind of hate.
It was all LaVar.
When it comes to LiAngelo and LaMelo, LaVar hadn’t made many bold statements about the two until he appeared on ESPN’s First Take on March 27.
“UCLA lost this year, but we gonna win it next year because I’m gonna take one Ball and bring in another one,” the dad said.
With that statement, Ball guaranteed a national title because of his son’s presence on the team and nothing else, but that’s not all. If LiAngelo can’t get it done at UCLA next season, LaVar will be back saying LaMelo, who is currently a high school sophomore and became a national story after he scored 92 points in a game, will take the Bruins to the promised land when he arrives on campus.
All LaVar Ball wants is attention and unfortunately, this article is just giving him more.
Despite the fact that this is giving LaVar what he wants, it is time to take a stand against the disservice that he is doing to his children by spewing nonsense to the media.
It is time for LaVar Ball to shut up.
Tyler Calvaruso is a journalism major from Howell, N.J. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @tyler_calvaruso.