When LeBron James signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, it seemed to somewhat invalidate concerns that Lonzo Ball’s father LaVar Ball would factor into his free agency decision-making process whatsoever.
That very well may still be true — James made this decision for reason’s that far outweigh one loud helicopter parent — but if you had the under on 30 days before LaVar said something that could potentially irritate James, then congrats on winning your bet, because it took just over two weeks from James making his decision and less than a week since he officially signed for LaVar to put one of his $500 sneakers in his mouth.
In an interview with Fanatics View Originals, Ball — who averaged less than 3 points per game in college — said he could easily beat James one-on-one (via Yahoo Sports):
He too weak. Back in my heyday, can’t nobody hold me. 270? Benching 500? All I gotta do is back you in, I’ll lift all off them up off their feet.
Don’t need no video… You want to see me back in the hey day? I was a bad mama jama… My will to win was too hard. One-on-one I bet on myself all day.
Now, the real question here is “how much does this really matter?” Yes, it’s pretty disrespectful for LaVar to claim he could beat James — arguably the greatest basketball player of all-time — one-on-one, and even more disrespectful to call him “weak.”
However, while this will surely fuel the talk-radio outrage reserves for the next week, is a comment like this from someone as ridiculous as LaVar really going to affect James whatsoever? Lions don’t concern themselves with the opinions of sheep, and as loud as LaVar roars, compared to someone of James’ achievements he is decidedly more wool than mane.
Is James really insecure enough to let this bother him? I would argue probably not until we see evidence otherwise, and frankly it seems like anyone arguing the opposite is being intellectually dishonest.
For all that has been made of “The LaVar Ball Circus” being an impediment to James joining the Lakers, it clearly wasn’t. Now whether that was just because he knows he can just trade Lonzo at a later date remains to be seen, but for now we have no evidence James cares even the slightest bit about any noise from LaVar as long as he isn’t bringing up James’ children.
A lot of people are going to get worked up about this, but it’s probably not worth freaking out over until we have concrete evidence James gives even the smallest bit of thought to LaVar’s ridiculous claim of the week.
Until then, it’s not worth freaking out about, and in the interest of full disclosure, the only reason this site is even giving it any daylight is to make this argument because there will be so many other outlets trying to outrage-bait fans with stuff like this all offseason.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.