Today’s 2 Cent Tuesday sports blog focuses on LaVar Ball, the overly zealous father of UCLA college basketball freshman star Lonzo Ball.
But first, let’s search ESPN annals to discover the genesis for today’s rant.
Many years ago, ESPN’s Page 2 became widely known as a go-to media destination for sports stories away from the actual games.
One story focused exclusively on meddling, troublesome relatives of the era’s elite athletes.
In that article, former ESPN Page 2 writer Jeff Merion compiled a diverse list of the sports world’s most harmful relatives.
Among those ignominiously named were relatives of famous athletes.
Referenced for a wide range of social foibles and outright arrogance in Merion’s pointed piece were Peter Graf (tennis great Stefi Graf’s father), John Henry Williams (The Spendid Splinter’s disgruntled son), Brooke Gordon (ex-wife of NASCAR’s iconic driver Jeff) and many more.
Not a coveted list on which to see your name and a major embarrassment for those whose relatives are sadly mentioned on it.
Former ESPN Page 2 List
If Jeff Merion’s ESPN Page 2 list still existed today, LaVar Ball would certainly find a spot on it – with little or no effort.
The talkative father of UCLA’s precocious freshman point guard Lonzo Ball just doesn’t know when to keep his trap shut. Just ask Stephen A. Smith who recently excoriated the fanatical father on a talk show. Or, simply Google the scores of other media outlets imploring the terrific young guard’s old man to simply clam up.
That’s because LaVar Ball has brazenly offered audacious commentary to the media that needlessly sets his son Lonzo up for ridicule and potential future unmet expectations. Let the kid be a kid and enjoy his splendid freshman season on a top 5 ranked UCLA squad where Lonzo is averaging 15.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg and 7.5 apg.
LaVar Ball’s premature public prognostications are no different than overly zealous ROBO QB father Marv Marinovich’s blathering regarding his talented USC star football playing son 25 years ago. The father’s boorish behavior hurt his son away from the gridiron where he suffered with substance abuse for failing to achieve the heavy expectations foisted upon him at an early age.
UCLA Freshman Lonzo Ball is Extremely Talented
There is no doubt that the younger Ball, Lonzo, is extremely talented. But, there is universal agreement that the elder Ball, LaVar is ridiculously foolish and meddling.
LaVar Ball has bragged that his 19 year-old son is already better than two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry. And, he’s already vaulted himself into NBA Draft conversations by claiming his kid will only play for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Enough said, Dad! Hush! Say no more. Your progeny is very good, but he’s only 19 years-old with a long, promising career ahead of him. Don’t rush him. Just allow Lonzo to relish his moment and give fans an interrupted opportunity to enjoy his glowing game.
And, that’s my 2 cents.
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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!