Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Brace yourself: LaVar Ball and Showtime are about to collide

LaVar Ball, the new clown prince of player parents, is at it again. When isn't he? There might not be a person who needs to be windmill slam dunked more than the father of former star UCLA freshman Lonzo Ball.

And I'll be all for it … when I stop laughing.

This loon is triple-double entertaining. And a marketing genius. His son's college career ended two months ago, the NBA playoffs are going on, but we're still following the Balls. I know I am. I can't help it.

LaVar Ball is way more unpredictable than the conference finals, a veritable Slip 'N Slide for the Cavaliers and Warriors. I can only hope Father Ball sets up a booth outside the Finals to scream to everyone about his 19-year-old and maybe hawk some of his obscenely overpriced for-men-only sneakers.

The latest obnoxious father furor is LaVar Ball's comments to Fox Sports reporter Kristine Leahy during The Herd with Colin Cowherd. Ball told Leahy to "stay in her lane," refusing to look at her after she asked a question. And he said he wasn't interested in having a Big Baller Brand women's basketball sneaker — no shoes for you.

An argument followed. Ball told Leahy, "My problem is you are a hater."

Meet the man who needs a rubber basketball arena. Send out the guys with the butterfly nets to haul him in.

There was the time LaVar said, "Back in my heyday, I would kill Michael Jordan one-on-one."

There was LaVar saying Lonzo was better than Steph Curry. And LeBron James. And Russell Westbrook.

It was Dad, after UCLA was eliminated by Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament, who said, "Realistically, you can't win no championship with three white guys because the foot speed is too slow."

And there's that Big Baller shoe brand, LaVar's brainchild. Yes, his kid already has a shoe. The first model, the ZO2 by Lonzo Ball, sells for $495. I think that's for the pair, not per sneaker.

Ready to throw up yet?

LaVar Ball's mouth is writing big checks that his son will have to cover with his play. Sons have redeemed fathers before. Lonzo will have to be incredible from his opening NBA tip. Know what? I'm pulling for him.

Because his father, king of the loose cannons, will never run out of cannon balls. And we haven't even reached the draft.

LaVar Ball has listed the Lakers as the only team his son will work out for before the draft. Los Angeles will pick second in the draft, behind the Celtics. The Celtics are expected to grab Markelle Fultz, the projected top pick. You know, if the Celtics wanted to teach the Balls a lesson, they'd choose Lonzo. Take that! Only LaVar would have to come along. I can just hear him saying he'd take Bird in a three-point contest.

Los Angeles is a better fit for Lonzo. The Lakers need a post-Kobe revival. The Balls could use some magic themselves.

Make that Magic.

Magic Johnson, Lakers president of basketball operations, NBA Hall of Famer and inventor of "Showtime," might be the only person who can save the day.

Magic and Magic alone can sit Crazy Man down and tell it like it is. "I've been in the spotlight, pal." Maybe he could wheel in Kobe and Kareem. Magic, his name, his success — his brand — could ratchet down Daddy without leaving fingerprints, maybe even convince LaVar that cutting a lower profile and returning to sanity was actually LaVar's idea.

Magic better hurry. LaVar Ball apparently has two other sons who are committed to play basketball for UCLA. Somebody needs to rein this guy in before he goes too far … or Lonzo Ball's shoe makes millions when he becomes a Laker. Who stops daffy daddy after that?

The show goes on. Just follow the bouncing Balls.

Contact Martin Fennelly at mfennelly@tampabay.com or (813) 731-8029. Follow @mjfennelly

LaVar Ball, left, is putting a lot of pressure on his son Lonzo, right, with grandiose statements and by announcing a Big Baller Brand shoe for Lonzo that costs $495 a pair. [Associated Press]

LaVar Ball, left, is putting a lot of pressure on his son Lonzo, right, with grandiose statements and by announcing a Big Baller Brand shoe for Lonzo that costs $495 a pair. [Associated Press]

Brace yourself: LaVar Ball and Showtime are about to collide 05/18/17 [Last modified: Friday, May 19, 2017 12:32am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs-Dolphins: Things to watch in Sunday's 1 p.m. game

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Can the Bucs pull off back-to-back wins with a backup quarterback? Win a game on the road for the first time this season? Politely hand the unnamed trophy for the state's worst football team back to the Dolphins?

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) throws an interception during the second half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Bucs' belief in Jameis Winston has been shaken

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Belief is the biggest attribute a quarterback can bring to his team. Belief in his talent. Belief in his commitment to winning. Belief in his ability to bring everyone together and have his voice lead the path forward.

    In this Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, file photo, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston stands on the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Ariz. Winston is being investigated for allegedly groping a female Uber driver in 2016. The Buccaneers quarterback has denied the charge on his Twitter and Instagram accounts.  (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)
  3. Gerald McCoy or Ndamukong Suh: Who would you rather have?

    Bucs

    In the crowd-pleasing sports-talk of game of "Who Would You Rather Have?'' there might not be a more perfect match-up than this.

    Gerald McCoy vs. Ndamukong Suh.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) takes a moment before the first defensive series of the first quarter of the game between the New York Giants and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017.
  4. Gerald McCoy to Ndamukong Suh: 'Let them remember us'

    Bucs

    TAMPA — In the spring of 2010, one of the biggest debates the week leading up to the NFL draft was which defensive tackle would be selected first? Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh or Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy.

    Ndamukong Suh was selected one pick ahead of Tampa Bay's Gerald McCoy in the 2010 NFL Draft. The two Pro Bowl defensive linemen meet Sunday in Miami when the Buccaneers face the Dolphins, but McCoy insists "there's never been a rivalry." (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
  5. Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs-Dolphins preview

    Bucs

    Greg Auman has a final preview of Sunday's Bucs-Dolphins game in Miami in his latest Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry (14) earns a fist down on a reception during a game against the Oakland Raiders earlier this month at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. [Al Diaz/Miami Herald/TNS]