John Calipari dodges question about ‘involved’ father LaVar Ball
If John Calipari has a negative opinion of LaVar Ball like so many others in the basketball world, the Kentucky coach is not going to share it.
TMZ caught up with Calipari at the BTIG charity event in New York City on Tuesday, and the coach was asked about UCLA star Lonzo Ball and his father. Calipari was quick to note that he has not followed all of the things LaVar has said, but he praised him for being an “involved” parent.
“I was so far removed that I don’t even know what that means. I know he’s involved,” Calipari said. “Fathers being involved aren’t always bad for these kids. They’ve got a loving relationship. I didn’t follow it that way.”
As for Lonzo, Calipari believes he has a shot to be a great player in the NBA.
“What I can say is the kid can really play,” he added. “He’s a competitor and has a will to win.”
The “loving relationship” Calipari spoke of with LaVar and Lonzo is a bit more than just that. Ball may have the best interests of his children in mind, but he has rubbed a number of people the wrong way with his outlandish comments and overconfidence. For example, LaVar said recently that he wants Lonzo’s rookie shoe deal to be in the $200 tier, which is extremely unrealistic.
At the moment, it looks like all of the major apparel companies are passing on shoe deals for Lonzo. Despite what Calipari thinks about how great it is for LaVar to be involved, you could make a case that he is damaging his son’s earning potential.