How Far is Too Far?

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Updated: May 23, 2017

It is no secret that LaVar Ball has a big mouth and loves to run it before passing his thoughts through what I presume is a pea sized brain. He’s been making rounds promoting his son Lonzo and trashing anyone and everyone who offers a speck of criticism. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think it is necessary to support your child and a little well-placed bragging is not inappropriate. What IS inappropriate is dragging others down to build your child up.

I am speaking about Ball’s recent exchange, via the media, with Kyrie Irving. As most NBA fans know, LaVar Ball has been pushing his son, Lonzo Ball and their brand Big Baller for quite some time. In the process, he has dissed past and present NBA players and even said Lonzo would have beaten Michael Jordan. And while Ball has the right to tout his son at the expense of others, players, coaches and fans, the guys who mop up the sweat from the hardwood know he is not making Lonzo any NBA friends. In a statement seemingly meant to help Lonzo, Kyrie Irving said this on Fox Sports:

“LaVar, you’re not going to be in every hotel room that Lonzo is going to be in, you’re not going to be everywhere and part of his life as he continues to grow up. You got to let go. He’s 19-years-old. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want it to bypass him being a father, but he’s got to let Lonzo be Lonzo for the long haul.” 

This statement is far from a harsh criticism and it is good advice from a man who knows how today’s NBA locker rooms work. Rather than accept the advice or choose to ignore Irving’s words, LaVar Ball attacked Irving and managed to show his ignorance and a non-existent sense of propriety. During an interview with Skip Bayless, Ball commented, “How you young guys going to say anything if you ain’t got no kids?” he said on Undisputed. “You have some young people that’s out here critiquing. ‘Oh, LaVar needs to let Lonzo go.’ How you young guys gonna say anything when you ain’t got no kids?” LaVar said.”Like Kyrie?” Skip Bayless asked. “Kyrie, definitely,” LaVar said. “How you gonna tell me how my son should be when you don’t have a kid?” Hmmm, last time I checked, Kyrie had a precious little girl. The comment about Kyrie not having children may have just blown over if Ball would have stopped there. However, Ball later went on the offensive, disrespecting Kyrie’s long deceased mother saying:

“Like Kyrie, he’s in a different situation,” Ball said. “So you can’t put yourself in the same situation as Lonzo. I have a wife and two other sons. You not in that situation. Maybe he don’t have the relationship that me and Zo got. And I don’t think he did. First of all, your mom wasn’t there, so something’s got to change right there. It’s not the same. Lonzo can come home and see his mom and dad all the time. We’ve been together. Most people, with this talent, usually has a single parent. Not two of them together.”

Seriously, LaVar? You say Kyrie’s mom “wasn’t there?” The woman passed away when Kyrie was four years old. I have no clue what keeps your big head from caving in, but I am reasonably sure it is not a brain. A head of lettuce has a larger intellect than you have, LaVar, and likely better grammar skills.

All of this begs the question, ‘How far is too far?’ In an age where athletes are worshiped and treated like commodities instead of people, it is easy to feel a sense of personal attachment to them. However, Ball’s incorrect assessment of a topic as personal as Kyrie’s mother is completely unacceptable. In March of this year, LaVar had a media based battle with LeBron James because of comments Ball made about LeBron Jr. & Bryce Maximus. This prompted LeBron to issue a ‘dad to dad’ warning telling Ball not to speak about the James family again.

What do you think, Cleveland? Did LaVar Ball cross a line when he criticized the parenting of a long-deceased woman or are athletes and their relatives (living or dead) open to any and all criticism? Ball seems to have no filter for his thoughts; I suggest that the first purchase Lonzo makes with his NBA money is a muzzle for his dear old dad.

Follow the author: @Shelley0514

Photo: ESPN

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