We've all seen, read and heard LaVar Ball's outrageous claims, predictions and demands. His made-for-TV mannerisms exploded in the sports world earlier this year, earning him quality time on networks such as ESPN and Fox. His entertaining, unapologetic banter and dedication to his sons has given us all something to discuss, laugh at, mock, criticize and support, the majority of which could be ignored or taken with a grain of salt.
In an interview with the Orange County Register, Ball crossed the racial line which he seemed to be avoiding yet which always surrounded him. He's a large, outspoken Black man who is married to a white woman, and together they have three bi-racial sons. Race never overtly entered his colorful on-air interviews, but the existence of the opportunity for it to emerge in some way was always present, and that happened yesterday.
When discussing UCLA's loss to Kentucky and the performance of his son, Lonzo, LaVar opened up the floodgates in a way that turned heads and immediately conjured up the image of the infamous Nick Young meme.
“Realistically you can’t win no championship with three white guys because the foot speed is too slow,” LaVar Ball said in that interview. “I told Lonzo - ‘One of these games you might need to go for 30 or 40 points.' It turned out the that was the one game. Then once they get to the Elite 8, they’re right there.”
LaVar, LaVar, LaVar.
Why did you have to go there?
In addition to that, LaVar claimed that Lonzo was injured in that game, which further detracted from their chances of defeating the Wildcats.
“People thought he was giving up, but he popped his hamstring,” Ball told the OC Register. “He said ‘I was trying to run, but my hamstring was pulled.’ But he’s never going to make excuses.”
According to Lavar, the fact that Lonzo was hurt and there were too many white guys playing at the same time, were the primary reasons why the Bruins lost. Not that Kentucky freshman De'Aaron Fox went ballistic and dropped 39 points on Lonzo and the Bruins. Not the fact that the Wildcats shot better (43.5% to 39.1%) and had fewer turnovers (6 to 13) than the Bruins.
No. It boils down to the fact that white players (and starters) TJ Leaf, Bryce Alford and Thomas Welsh, were cursed with slower foot speed. They were quick enough to score a combined 39 points while going 16-28 from the field and hauling in a combined 16 rebounds, but not fast enough to win a championship.
I'm sure the championship-winning Celtics teams are raising their hands in protest, and I'm positive that championship teams from Duke and UCLA during the Wooden years are lining up to do the same thing as well.
Normally Ball's actions could be tolerated or dismissed, but this is now the second time that he's stepped out of bounds. It's hypocritical and ridiculous to go where he did. But knowing how he operates, I highly doubt that he cares.