LaVar Ball brought his traveling circus to Philadelphia on Thursday. Or at least he did so by proxy, as he called in to 97.5 The Fanatic for an interview with afternoon hosts Rob Ellis and Geoff Mosher.
You would think by now that the father of Lonzo Ball would be reasonably satisfied with his lot in life, since the Lakers did what the Balls hoped they would by drafting Lonzo at No. 2 this year.
Heck, LaVar has become so famous at this point that he was invited on to WWE’s Monday Night Raw this week, where he got into an entirely predictable (even by wrestling standards) shouting match with The Miz.
But of course, none of that was enough. So there LaVar was, spending 20 minutes on the air in a city many thousands of miles from Los Angeles.
LaVar was asked for his thoughts on the Sixers. It surely won’t surprise you that he has some, and it might not surprise you that they aren’t too kind.
Remember how Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid aired their views of Ball on Twitter after his interview at the draft on ESPN?
— Ben Simmons (@BenSimmons25) June 22, 2017
Please dunk on him so hard that his daddy runs on the court to save him.. https://t.co/cMvt5RYiSQ
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) June 22, 2017
Ellis and Mosher gave Ball the opportunity to respond. And of course, he did.
“When you don’t win, and don’t even make the playoffs, and don’t even stay on the court long enough, that’s the best thing you can do – is tweet and make some stuff,” Ball said. “Ain’t nobody else doing that, because they’re working on their games in the gym. These guys ain’t played a game, [are] always hurt, and [are] at the bottom of the totem pole. So guess what? Get your [rear ends] off the goddamn Tweeter, and get in the gym.”
Ball also took aim at Jerry Colangelo, the veteran basketball executive who’s an adviser to the Sixers and father of the team’s president of basketball operations, Bryan Colangelo.
In early June, Jerry Colangelo told 94.1 WIP that Lonzo Ball’s start to life in the NBA could be “challenging, with the people around him, without being specific.”
Colangelo also offered plenty of praise for Lonzo, calling him “a very talented young man” and “a terrific prospect.”
He concluded, “I don’t think teams should bypass the player because they have those concerns” about LaVar’s presence.
LaVar was evidently affected more by the criticism than the praise.
(Which might also come as a surprise. Or maybe not.)
“You know how you say I’m involved? The other guy, Colangelo, the father – he’s the one messing it up,” LaVar said. “He’s worried about everything on the outside, instead of getting the players. He’s worried about the parents and all that, and the people that are around. He needs to worry about what type of players you get for your system.”
Ball was asked if that sentiment stemmed from any conversation he’d had with Colangelo.
“No,” Ball answered. “I just heard him say one thing which I don’t like. He says, ‘I don’t like the people around Lonzo.’ That’s the one where I’m just like, okay, what have you got? All you did [was] for the USA team, and now you’re son is running a business there [in Philadelphia], and you’re a so-called consultant. You’re a helicopter parent, over there trying to tell your son what to do.”
(Colangelo kept the chairmanship of USA Basketball for some time after joining the Sixers’ front office.)
It’s the height of… well… something for Ball to take aim at Colangelo with the same barb that’s been tossed his way by who knows how many critics nationwide. Even Lonzo had a few things to say about it in a Gatorade ad produced for Father’s Day.
But no matter your generation, the old adage remains true: It takes one to know one.
Click here for the full interview. If you can stomach listening to LaVar for 20 minutes, it’s quite entertaining.