It seems everyone has an opinion on LaVar Ball, the father of UCLA star Lonzo Ball and high school basketball phenoms LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball, right now.
Some people, like Charles Barkley, think LaVar has gone entirely too far in recent weeks by comparing Lonzo to Steph Curry and telling anyone who will listen about how great his sons are going to be one day. Others have praised LaVar for sticking by his sons’ sides and boosting them up in the media whenever he gets the chance to do it. But regardless of what you think about him, there’s a chance you have a strong opinion one way or the other with regards to LaVar.
On Thursday, Steve Kerr revealed that he falls somewhere in the middle. Kerr has heard LaVar compare his oldest son to Curry. He has also heard LaVar say that he thinks he could have beaten Kerr’s former Bulls teammate Michael Jordan 1-on-1 back in his heyday. And while Kerr doesn’t necessarily think LaVar is taking the wrong approach to promoting his family and their brand, he did wonder if what LaVar is doing is the best thing for his boys. The Warriors head coach did a radio interview on ESPN 1000 in Chicago on Thursday and spoke about the "outlandish" comments LaVar has made.
"The fact that everybody keeps talking about him, he seems to be accomplishing whatever he’s trying to accomplish, because the things he says are so outlandish," Kerr said. "But he keeps getting headlines, and I guess that’s what he wants…I don’t think it’s helping his kids. I think it’d be better for them if they can just play and have fun and not have to hear that every day, but whatever. It’s all part of him."
Lonzo Ball was also asked about his father on Thursday, and he downplayed all the criticism he has received since he started doing so many interviews over the last few weeks. According to Lonzo, LaVar has been making bold claims and predictions for years now, so he’s used to his father being "outlandish" when he talks.
"He’s been like that my whole life," Lonzo said. "It’s nothing new to me. He’s got a camera in front of his face now, so y’all are seeing it for the first time…He’s never going to change for the cameras. He’s been the same his whole life."
Regardless of where you stand on the controversy LaVar has caused, it’s clear he’s going to keep talking and speaking his mind whenever he gets the chance. As Kerr mentioned, it might not necessarily be "helping his kids" in some respects, but that’s not going to stop him from doing it anyway.
UCLA plays Kent State in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament on Friday night, and you can bet LaVar will be a big topic of discussion throughout the game.