LaVar Ball has recently been in the headlines just as often as his son - UCLA star Lonzo Ball - for boasting that his son could replace Stephen Curry on the Golden State Warriors immediately and that Ball will "only" play for the Lakers (Ball later clarified his remark and said that he hopes his son remains in Los Angeles).
Ball is one of the top prospects in the 2017 NBA Draft class, but his father's constant presence in the media is already raising some eyebrows in the NBA. A number of current and former players, including John Wall and Kenyon Martin, have called out LaVar Ball for heaping pressure upon his son.
On Monday's episode of The Herd, Colin Cowherd and Kristine Leahy reacted to LaVar Ball's comments and considered how it could affect his son's NBA future.
Colin Cowherd: We don’t know how Lonzo Ball and his brothers are reacting
“I don’t necessarily worry about the kids because, as my wife says, ‘as a parent you can be a great example or a horrible warning.’ You know, his kids may be just rolling their eyes at their dad. They wouldn’t be the first sons to roll their eyes at their dad.”
Kristine Leahy: NBA teams may pass on Ball just to avoid the headache from his father
“100 percent, but if you’re a GM or if you’re a team that’s looking at him and you know that he comes along with his father, who is going to create some issues. Who knows what, [if] he’s going to leak information… it’s just a headache that maybe you don’t want to worryabout.
And it’s really unfortunate for the father to be putting his son in that position. I would think you would want to do everything you could to allow your son to succeed. And he’s taking away from that.”
Colin Cowherd: LaVar Ball is putting enormous pressure on his kids
“Well, the dad also said ‘all of my kids are going to be one-and-done at UCLA, and the middle kid [LiAngelo] is not considered to be a one-and-done [player], so you put big pressure on your sons. He also said ‘my son’s gonna be the next Steph Curry.’ That’s putting enormous pressure on your kids.
We have multiple examples in America where sports dads have exercised their power with their sons, and their son’s pro future. And I’m not necessarily against it. Archie Manning essentially engineered Eli to the Giants because Archie Manning said ‘I don’t want my son playing for a historically poorly run franchise, San Diego.’”
Casey SapioCasey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
Colin Cowherd: There is a precedent for parents interfering to save their kids
“Jack Elway was quoted as saying his son, John Elway, shouldn’t play for the Colts, who had a head coach, Frank Kush, who was a disaster in the NFL, and it was a poorly run franchise. In both these cases, it is a dad stepping in to protect their son from a historically bad franchise.
I’ve said this about Deshaun Watson of Clemson. I don’t know his family’s situation… but if Deshaun Watson’s mom stepped in and says ‘I will not allow him to be drafted by Cleveland,’ I totally get that. You get one chance in life as a pro athlete…. Find me the quarterback who went to the bad team, resurrected his career and had a great career. There’s a handful like Carson Palmer, but there aren’t many. There are not many.”
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Colin Cowherd: LaVar Ball could cost his son in the draft
“If a parent steps in who’s got experience in this and sees a historically incompetent franchise - Let’s say, for instance, LaVar Ball, [if] this was a story five years ago, and LaVar Ball said about Lonzo Ball ‘I don’t want him playing for Donald Sterling and the Clippers,’ I would be OK with that. I would be absolutely OK with a dad or a mom stepping in to protect their son or daughter from a historically chaotic organization.
… But what he is saying, he’s unhinged. He’s saying ‘my son’s better than Steph Curry!’ Where does the son win for that?
‘All my kids are one-and-done!’ You’re not helping your kids, you’re hurting your kids. There’s no win in that… you’re just adding pressure.”
What’s the value of that? And I can tell you, I read a story this morning where we have several NBA front office people saying ‘no thank you.’
Now, they’re gonna draft Lonzo Ball because he’s too good. I mean, he’s going to get drafted high - but let’s say he drops from two to five, three to six… you didn’t help, dad."