LaVar Ball is no Kardashian.
The comparison, made by Golden State Warrior head coach Steve Kerr, came on the heels of the NBA’s reaction to a LaVar Ball interview with Jeff Goodman where he accused Lakers head coach, Luke Walton, of not having control of the team anymore.
Being that Walton is a former assistant on the Warriors staff and someone Kerr considers friend, he decided to stand up for his pal but ended up throwing LaVar Ball under the bus in the process.
“Somewhere, I guess in Lithuania, LaVar Ball is laughing at all of us. People are eating out of his hands for no apparent reason, other than he’s become like the Kardashian of the NBA or something.”
Steve Kerr weighs in on LaVar Ball, ESPN. pic.twitter.com/ZOExLlCn9W
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) January 9, 2018
The issue is that LaVar Ball is nothing like a Kardashian. While both attract headlines, cameras, and have built a brand around their family, LaVar is everything but negative, which is what that other family lives off of.
From Kim Kardashian releasing a sex tape, Kendall Jenner’s abysmal Pepsi ad to the family’s fixation on the superficial, saying LaVar or his family resembles the Kardashians is nothing short of disrespectful.
Kerr was one of many who took overt offense for ESPN giving LaVar Ball a platform. Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, president of the National Basketball Coaches Association, went as far as to call the ESPN article “a disgrace” and LaVar Ball’s comments an “ignorant distraction.”
Several NBA coaches plan to ask media relations staffs to revoke credentials of basketball writers who interview LaVar Ball, league sources tell AmicoHoops. Ball was critical of Lakers coach Luke Walton in comments made to ESPN.
— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) January 8, 2018
Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy wasn’t too happy either.
On Monday, Van Gundy threatened to not do pre-game meeting or in-game interviews with ESPN during the network’s broadcast of a Pistons game on January 19th. saying their decision to give Ball a platform was “cheap (expletive)” and “a cheap shot” and said they “showed total disrespect.” He said “I got a problem with ESPN deciding that’s a story.”
Kerr, Carlisle, and Van Gundy all are right in that the media has been voracious in their coverage of the Balls, but the sensationalism of click bait is as old as the profession itself.
Tim Tebow received as much, if not more, annoying coverage for months on end at alarming rates! To the point where then ESPN President John Skipper admitted that he told producers to scale back their coverage.
During an interview with John Ourand of SportsBusinessDaily.com in 2012, Skipper said of Tebow, “we didn’t handle this very well.” According to Skipper, while Tebow is still a short-term ratings boost, he is worried about the long-term effects of getting “over excited about one story and hyping it.”
While Tebow’s Dad did not make a controversial statement about his coach, it shows that ESPN is consistent with how it handles trending topics.
NBA coaches want to revoke credentials of media who talk to LaVar Ball but can't stop talking about LaVar Ball themselves. PRO TIP: stop giving him the power you don't want him to have and focus on coaching your teams.
— Chris Martin Palmer (@ChrisPalmerNBA) January 9, 2018
LaVar Ball may not make the best shoe — Big Baller Brand recently received an “F” from the Better Business Bureau — he may not communicate the best way, and he probably is over the top, but discrediting him as a distraction because the media can’t get enough of him is unfair, especially over an opinion that analysts will say live on air.
People: STOP COVERING LAVAR BALL. WE’RE TIRED OF HIM.
Number of clicks/tweets about Lavar Ball: pic.twitter.com/tDsIjuU8eX
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) January 8, 2018
LaVar is only going to go away when the news stops making him news, and as much as they hate to admit it, that isn’t happening anytime soon.
Just ask the 100K people watching some teenagers play basketball in Lithuania on Facebook right now.