LaVar Ball has been one of the most outspoken and controversial figures in the NBA and all of sports about the last couple of years. But his latest claim about the Los Angeles Lakers second-year player may be his craziest yet.
Some of us are really annoyed by LaVar Ball, the father of Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball, but you have to admit, is non-stop entertainment and a great source of unintentional comedy, no matter how biased and straight-up bonkers he may sound.
If you've been blocking him out over the last 2.5 years, when Lonzo was playing at UCLA, he said that his son was better than Steph Curry, who is a two-time regular season MVP and three-time NBA world champion.
Then last May, when asked about the chances of Kawhi Leonard being traded to the Lakers, he said that Lonzo is better than Leonard. LaVar then said that LeBron James would be joining the Lakers because Lonzo would make LeBron a better player, instead of the other way around.
But earlier this month, LaVar said something while on Skip and Shannon: Undisputed that will probably make many of us think that he's probably living full time in the bizarro world now. He claimed that Lonzo is better than LeBron James.
No, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you. LaVar actually said that Lonzo Ball, a second-year player who has some huge holes in his game, is better than LeBron James, a player who has been hyped by many as one of the three greatest basketball players ever, and by some, including the man himself, as the greatest basketball player or all time.
Check it out for yourself below. Skip ahead to the eight-minute mark to hear this absolutely bonkers statement.
To give you some context, LaVar first says that it feels like President of Basketball Operations, Magic Johnson, isn't really in charge of basketball operations. Then when Shannon Sharpe asks LaVar what his biggest gripe is with head coach Luke Walton, LaVar claims that Walton isn't utilizing his son right, then says that Walton will get fired soon because some of the other players on the team want to whoop his you-know-what.
When Skip Bayless asks LaVar if it would be best for Lonzo to be traded, LaVar says that Lonzo should either be traded or have a new coach, and Brian Shaw should supplant Walton as the Lakers' new head coach.
According to LaVar, Lonzo needs a coach who will put the ball in his hands and let him run the show and fast break on every possession because that's where he's at his best (which is absolutely true).
But, here's where he goes off the rails. Sharpe asks LaVar how his son should be playing in the Lakers' half court sets, and LaVar thinks they should never run a half court set because he thinks that if Lonzo is running the show, the Lakers will turn every single possession throughout the game into either a fast break or secondary break opportunity.
Sharpe had to admonish LaVar and remind him that even the Showtime Lakers of the 1980s had to run halfcourt sets a good amount of time because the NBA is a defensive-minded league and teams really focus on transition defense.
Bayless then mentions that in the half court game, Lonzo tends to stand in the corner once he gives up the ball. LaVar wants Lonzo to run the screen and roll at the top of the floor instead, and Sharpe tries to remind LaVar that Lonzo wants to share facilitating duties with LeBron, a player who is clearly better than Lonzo.
This is where LaVar loses it. He asks Sharpe “are you crazy?”, And Sharpe asks LaVar straight up if he thinks Lonzo is better than LeBron, and Lavar replies with a forthright “yes”.
LaVar's reasoning is that LeBron is getting older and more injury-prone, can't move as fast as Lonzo on the fast break, and then defends his claim by saying that the only reason LeBron's shooting and free throw percentages are better than Lonzo's is because LeBron has been in the league for a long time.
He then says that if he were Lonzo’s coach, he would "let him loose" and that he could fix Lonzo's free throw shooting issues.
Memo to LaVar: be quiet and let your son's game do the talking.