Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few months, you have seen LaVar Ball dominate sports’ media. Most notably, his darkest moment occurred last week, when he appeared on Colin Cowherd’s “The Herd” on FS1. He said a number of disturbing things, but the way he treated co-host Kristine Leahy is what really had people up in arms. He told her to “stay in her lane” multiple times while also ending his interview by saying “she’s got something coming to her.” He also refused to look at her the entire time he was sitting on Cowherd’s couch. (Kristine vs. LaVar)
Leahy was hired by Cowherd because she has been a respected reporter for many years now. As Cowherd said to LaVar while she was asking questions, “her job is to probe.” She asked a simple question about the number of sales he has tallied for his new “Big Baller Brand” company, and that seemed to be the start of the ugly banter that was about to ensue. This was an opportunity for LaVar to brag about his company. Obviously, sales aren’t going as planned, because someone with his personality wouldn’t have been offended like he appeared to be, if he was doing well. Remember, this is the same guy that said he could beat Michael Jordan one on one. I don’t think he is the type of guy to skip an opportunity to brag about himself.
Jason Whitlock, co-host of FS1’s “Speak for Yourself” and respected journalist, addressed the situation on his show. LaVar even attacked Whitlock by saying he doesn’t think “he can comment on anything- but snacks.” As outrageous as this statement was, Whitlock didn’t even choose to discuss it, due to his strong opinions about what was said to Kristine. He said the “stay in your lane” comment is the equivalent of telling her to “stay in the kitchen.” I couldn’t agree more. Asking questions is part of her job description. Staying in her lane entails probing the people they interview, and that is exactly what she was doing. The combination of telling her to stay in her lane, not look in her direction once and threatening her was incredibly disrespectful to a very talented person. You can’t help but to think her gender had something to do with his behavior.
Has anybody noticed that we haven’t heard much from LaVar Ball this week? It’s because the media is finally understanding the power they have when it comes to this crazy dude. He is just a man with an incredibly talented son, who is more than likely going to be the second pick of the NBA Draft in June. He is using the platform his son has given to him to further his career interests. When the media finally understands they have the power to take his platform away, he will become incredibly irrelevant and will start to fade away. The focus will lean towards his son, Lonzo, which is the way it should be. Without the air time that ESPN and FS1 has given him, he is just a father of a basketball player. He wouldn’t have had the ability to talk about how is son is already better than Steph Curry or justify why his new “Big Baller Brand” sneaker is worth $495. We, as basketball fans, need to stop being enamored by his outrageous comments, and the media will be forced to shun him. Let’s make it happen.