LaVar Ball briefly shut his mouth after Kentucky’s De'Aaron Fox embarrassed his son Lonzo Ball during the NCAA Tournament last month. But after getting a taste of the spotlight in 2017, LaVar Ball just can’t help himself, he craves seeing his name in the headlines: He’s back to saying insanely stupid things and putting his talented sons in a terrible spot. Here’s what Ball told the OC Register:
“Realistically you can’t win no championship with three white guys because the foot speed is too slow. I told Lonzo, ‘One of these games you might need to go for 30 or 40 points.’ It turned out the that was the one game. Then once they get to the Elite 8, they’re right there.”
Nevermind that Gonzaga just got to the title game with two 7-footers in the Przemek Karnowski and Zach Collins, the latter of whom could be playing in the NBA in a few months. Did LaVar Ball not watch the Elite 8, where the hero was Luke Maye at the buzzer?
The MOP of the 2016 Final Four was Ryan Arcidiacono of Villanova. He’s white. Oh, hey, Wisconsin went to back-to-back Final Fours in 2014 and 2015 behind the white trio of Frank Kaminsky (now in the NBA), Sam Dekker (also in the NBA) and Bronson Koenig.
Did LaVar Ball somehow miss the 2013 Final Four, when Luke Hancock (white!) was the Most Outstanding Player for Louisville? Surely Mr. Ball remembers the 2010 title game, when Kyle Singer of Duke (white, and in the NBA) outdid Butler’s Gordon Hayward (white, and in the NBA).
So I’ll go out on a limb and say that LaVar Ball made those comments with a specific target in mind: UCLA coach Steve Alford. Ball doesn’t care that the coach’s son, Bryce Alford, was very popular with the players (including former UCLA star Russell Westbrook), or that he finished as the 5th leading scorer of all-time ahead of the likes of Toby Bailey and Ed O’Bannon.
No, Ball had to directly take a shot at Alford, because in public, you’ve got to blame somebody for UCLA’s loss. It couldn’t have been that Fox and Kentucky were out to get Lonzo Ball because the pageant dad ran his mouth. No way!
And Ball couldn’t take a direct shot at the coach, because then it would appear as if he wanted to hand-pick the next coach his two sons will play for. That’d be too greedy of a public play even for someone as buffoonish as Ball, especially when Alford’s buyout is so high. UCLA can’t part ways with him – they can only hope he takes another job.
Alford nearly had that chance with Indiana, but the Hoosiers never made an offer. If Alford had bolted, then maybe UCLA mover-and-shaker Casey Wasserman could have delivered the offensive-minded coach Bruins fans quietly covet: Fred Hoiberg.