LaVar Ball has become the biggest personality in college basketball, and he doesn’t even play – or coach. He’s simply the always-talking, never-backing-down father of perhaps the most transcendent college point guard we’ve seen in decades.
Most people, though, could do without him – LaVar, not Lonzo.
“He’s taking on everybody, and he’s injected himself into the whole thing. It’s now more about him than his kid,” NBA Radio host Mitch Lawrence said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “I’m telling you: Everybody raves about Lonzo and what type of player he’s going to be in the NBA. It can’t be easy being (LaVar’s) son from that standpoint because your father is putting all kinds of pressure on you, saying you’re going to be better than Stephen Curry and all this stuff. It’s kind of a crazy situation.”
Indeed, LaVar has said his son will be better than Curry and has publicly sparred with LeBron James and Charles Barkley, among others.
“Look, I’m like everybody else: I think the old man needs to sit down and shut up and let his kid do the talking,” Lawrence said. “The kid is the star here, not the father. We all got to remember that. The father averaged, what, two points a game when he played at Washington State or wherever he was? He’s blabbing about himself, but the cold deal is he’s got some real talented sons.”
The most talented is Lonzo, who is averaging 14.7 points, 7.6 assists and 6.1 rebounds for No. 3 UCLA (31-4), which will square off against No. 2 Kentucky (31-5) in the Sweet 16 on Friday at 9:39 p.m. ET.
“I can’t wait to see this kid play in this next game for UCLA, how far he can take Steve Alford’s team,” Lawrence said. “Have you seen him play? He makes that team so much better offensively. He’s going to translate very well the the pros. He doesn’t need his father saying all this nonsensical jive. He can just go out and play and that’s fine. The old man just needs to back off. Please, stop.”