LeBron James fires back at LaVar Ball: ‘Keep my family out of your mouth’
LaVar Ball appears to have made a very powerful enemy.
As his Cleveland Cavaliers practiced (coincidentally) on the campus of UCLA on Tuesday, LeBron James fired back at the outspoken patriarch of the Ball family for implying earlier this month that his kids were in a better position to succeed than James’ kids.
“Keep my kids’ name out of your mouth, keep my family out of your mouth,” said the three-time NBA champion, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “This is dad to dad. It’s a problem now.”
Ball, the father of 19-year-old star UCLA freshman Lonzo Ball and two other sons who are also committed to play for UCLA, 18-year-old LiAngelo Ball and 15-year-old LaMelo Ball, has made headlines for some thoroughly outlandish quotes and claims in recent weeks, perhaps in an attempt to drum up publicity for his sons and their self-titled clothing company, Big Baller Brand. But it was apparently some comments Ball made in an appearance on the “In the Zone with Chris Broussard” podcast that got under James’ skin.
“The monsters in the NBA, their dads wasn’t that good,” Ball said, also per McMenamin. “They were OK, they was players, but the fact that the old [Dell] Curry wasn’t no All-Star, he wasn’t cold. He could shoot the ball, though. Kobe Bryant, his dad wasn’t all that, that’s why he’s such a monster.
“You got LeBron, it’s going to be hard for his kids because they are going to look at them like, ‘You got to be just like your dad,'” continued Ball. “And after a while, that pressure starts sitting on you like, ‘Why do I got to be just like him? What can’t I just be me?’ And then they are going to be like, ‘Aw, you’re soft, you’re not that good.’ Because the expectation is very, very high.”
James is the father of 12-year-old LeBron James Jr. and 9-year-old Bryce Maximus James, both of whom have already impressed at the youth basketball level playing in the AAU circuit. He already got personal in a feud with Charles Barkley earlier this year, so with Ball bringing James’ family into the mix, it’s no surprise the four-time MVP went into LeProtective Dad mode.