LaVar Ball will be on WEEI Thursday at 2:30 p.m. (Richard Mackson/USA Today Sports)
There’s nothing endearing about LaVar Ball. He’s the worst caricature of a sports dad –– hellbent on manipulating and controlling his kids’ athletic careers. But the qualities that make him so repulsive also make him a great interview. That’s why his appearance on Dale & Holley with Keefe Thursday promises to be must-listen radio.
With the Celtics holding possession of the Nets’ first-round pick, there’s a legitimate chance Lonzo Ball will play in Boston next season. With that reality in mind, it’s imperative to know what LaVar Ball thinks about the Celtics organization and the city itself. There are an infinite number of questions that could be posed to him about those topics. Five possibilities are below:
“Do you want Lonzo playing for the Celtics?”
When Eli Manning entered the NFL Draft in 2004, his father Archie Manning made it clear he didn’t want his son playing for the Chargers, who wound up trading him to the Giants. It’s not difficult to imagine LaVar Ball expressing similar demands about his eldest son.
In an interview last month, LaVar Ball said Lonzo will “only play” for their hometown Lakers. He later walked back those comments, saying Lonzo will play anywhere. But it would be curious to hear LaVar Ball’s thoughts on the Celtics, considering they play on the other side of the country and are projected to be a playoff contender for years to come. If LaVar Ball wants Lonzo to play 30 minutes per night in his rookie season, Boston may not be the best landing spot for him.
“What if Lonzo Ball doesn’t play that much?”
LaVar Ball is intent on making his kids stars. He wants to ink a $1 billion shoe contract for them and is already selling “Big Baller Brand” t-shirts. But if Lonzo Ball is a role-player during his rookie season, those plans may have to be put on hold for a little bit. Daddy Ball may not react kindly to that.
“Would you try to interfere with Brad Stevens?”
LaVar Ball is an overbearing presence at Chino Hills High School, where all three of his kids have attended. His interference with the program is chronicled in a recent USA Today feature story, which details stories about how he would try to overrule head coach Stephan Gilling at almost every turn.
After one game, Ball refused to leave the locker room, because Gilling had run a different defense than the one he suggested:
“He comes to me and says, ‘What are you doing? What are you doing?’ I said, ‘What do you mean? I’m trying to win the game.’
“He turns around and walks to our locker room,” Gilling said. “I said, ‘LaVar, don’t go into the locker room.’ He continues walking. I said, ‘LaVar, why are you trying to embarrass me?’ And he just kept walking and goes into the locker room. He’s in there sitting down with the team. And I’m like, ‘LaVar, get out!’”
Gilling says Ball refused to leave the locker room, so Gilling told his team to follow him back to the hotel while Ball’s sons, LiAngelo and LaMelo, stayed behind.
When the Chino Hills team made it back to their hotel, Ball still hadn’t cooled down. In fact, he was just getting started.
“An assistant coach comes up to me and tells me that he sees LaVar rallying the team up,” Gilling said. “I guess he got them out of their rooms on the 18th floor and tells the team that it was his system that won. That we’re doing what he says. ‘I run Chino Hills! I run UCLA, about to run the NBA!’
That kind of act won’t work in the NBA, especially with an organization like the Celtics. But that doesn’t mean LaVar won’t try.
“Could you beat Larry Bird one-on-one?”
LaVar Ball claims he would have “killed” Michael Jordan in an one-on-one game if they had played each other during the primes of their athletic lives. Does he feel similarly about Larry Legend?
“Is Boston a racist city?”
LaVar Ball doesn’t appear to have any qualms about speaking out of his rectum on topics he knows little about. He seems like the perfect candidate to ignorantly opine on Boston’s racial history.