Earlier today, LaVar Ball had a very eventful appearance on the Colin Cowherd show. He refused to look at Leahy when she talked and told her to “stay in her lane.” When Leahy said that to be successful, Big Baller Brand would also have to have women that liked the brand, LaVar answered “uh, yeah, if you have a women’s company. We talking about Big Baller Brand.”
LaVar Ball’s initial animus toward Leahy arises from his earlier appearance on the show with his son Lonzo, right after the UCLA loss to Kentucky, and Leahy’s comments after that appearance.
“And whenever you asked him [Lonzo] a question, he said, what, five words?” Leahy said in a March 29th appearance on Speak For Yourself, “And he looks terrified whenever he’s talking. I asked ‘have you ever had a disagreement with your father?’ and he said ‘no.’ And everyone at this table that you know, at one point, you disagree with your parent, unless you are afraid to disagree with your parent … He looks like he’s terrified to go against anything his father said.”
Here is the video segment where Leahy made her comments:
Now, some sites and readers have interpreted that as she accused LaVar of child abuse (a major reach, IMO), and that she questioned his parenting.
Earlier in that segment, Jason Whitlock said of Lonzo, “his son looks like a robot, and his father looks like the total man in the family. And his son is about to go off to a NBA franchise, and be surrounded by grown men, and it seems like he’s just daddy’s little boy, a robot who’s controlled by his father. I’m out on LaVar Ball, I think he’s a problem for this kid–his schtick–he’s talking about a reality TV show and all that. … he needs to get out of the way and let his sons lead their own life.”
There’s a heavily edited video circulating now which cuts out some of that context, but includes the “terrified” line. I don’t know how you can watch the full context of Leahy’s comments and see claims of child abuse, but you can certainly see where she is questioning whether Lonzo has the ability to disagree with his father, and whether he is frightened to say something contrary.
Notably, LaVar has even said, in an earlier appearance, that his sons can’t disagree with him. Here’s what he said in a previous segment with Cowherd (after LaMelo scored 93 points):
“Whatever I say, even if it’s wrong, he rolling with his pops,” said LaVar of Lonzo.
Colin then asked about what if he said it in private on the way to a game.
“If he said that, then I’d say ‘then you ain’t my son,’ my son don’t talk like that.”
“You’ve never had a bad day. He’s never pushed back?” asked Colin.
“How you gonna push back if I’m taking care of you?” answered LaVar.
So, even based on LaVar Ball’s statements, he dismisses the possibility that Lonzo would disagree with him. Then today, he showed his anger at Leahy observing that Lonzo was scared of LaVar and afraid to be himself.
Here’s the thing, then–if Lonzo can be his own man, he needs to step up and get somebody besides LaVar to handle the PR response on this one. LaVar may have had an underlying reason for being upset, but being dismissive and then going on tilt to say “uh, yeah, if you have a women’s company,” hurts the bottom line.
If LaVar is the only one cleaning this up, then it appears that all his comments about Lonzo not being able to disagree with him are correct. It’s time for Lonzo to be able to make some calls on his own. If you want to prove Leahy wrong, that’s how you do it.