LaVar Ball’s irreverence knows no bounds. Thursday morning, in an appearance on ESPN’s Mornings with Keyshaun (Johnson), Jorge (Sedano) and LZ (Granderson), Ball went where few have dared: He refused to bow at the alter of Kobe Bryant.
Fans will freak out about the first sentence of the quote, but really, this is probably what most players think anytime the media breathlessly asks if they’ll be turning to the Black Mamba for tips on how studying the prehistoric saber-toothed tiger might help guard LeBron James.
The other point of contention here is that it continues to be LaVar speaking for Lonzo Ball, who, based on his shoe design, would probably love for Kobe to spend some time here and there helping his game.
For whatever reason (cough, ratings, cough), the microphone keeps finding LaVar, though, and for as long as that keep happening, we should all probably get used to quotes like this.
"I don't need no advice from Kobe Bryant. I don't need advice from Kobe Bryant. 'Zo's got to play his game.
"If they're at practice and he sees something and Lonzo listens to him or whatever, he's good. ... But it's just not, 'OK, I'm talking to Kobe, so now I'm going to be good.' If Kobe sees something that 'Zo is doing, then go from there. But I'm not trying to pattern after nobody."
Again, let’s take those two parts of the statement separately.
Sure, LaVar, you don’t need Kobe Bryant. You aren’t going to playing in the NBA. You seem to keep missing that point.
Regarding Lonzo needing to play his game, sure, that seems fair enough on a very shallow level. But again, there’s kind of an issue when he mentions not patterning his game: Everyone in the history of basketball has taken things from other players. That’s called patterning parts of one’s game after another. The idea that Lonzo is somehow talented enough to make it completely on his own is patently absurd.
The other issue in the way LaVar frames the hypothetical relationship between Lonzo and Kobe is that he somehow thinks Kobe would seek out Lonzo to help him. That’s not how that works.
Kobe said recently that he’s open to helping any player who shows the willingness (or as he puts it, “courage”) to ask him for help. He didn’t sound like someone who is going to go out of his way to help even those competing in the playoffs, let alone some incoming rookie with an obnoxious, overbearing parent.
Credit to LaVar for being honest here. I’ve honestly been waiting for someone go this route just for the chaos that would ensue. For Lonzo’s sake, though, LaVar should really check himself sooner rather than later.
I’m just an idiot who gets to write about this stuff.
LaVar’s just an idiot who gets to say this stuff.
Lonzo actually has to go out and live it.