LeBron James responds to LaVar Ball: 'Keep my kids' name out of your mouth'

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For weeks now, LaVar Ball has been going on practically every sports media platform that will have him and saying some incredible things, such as how his son Lonzo (currently a freshman at UCLA, and projected to be a top-three pick in the NBA Draft later this summer) is already better than Stephen Curry, how he, LaVar, would have “killed” Michael Jordan in one-on-one, and how he’s seeking a $1 billion shoe deal for the family. 

Although a bit outrageous, they were all harmless attempts at promotion for both himself and his sons. He did make a few comments, however, that seemed to cross a line. At least in LeBron James’ mind. On a podcast with Chris Broussard, LaVar Ball commented that he thought his sons were set up to be better than LeBron’s kids. Via ESPN:

“The monsters in the NBA, their dads wasn’t that good,” Ball said. “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.’ 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.”

Tuesday, LeBron fired back. Speaking to ESPN, he said:

“Keep my kids’ name out of your mouth, keep my family out of your mouth,” James told ESPN on Tuesday, as the Cavaliers practiced on UCLA’s campus, two days after a victory at the Lakers.

“This is dad to dad. It’s a problem now.”

“He can talk all about his brand, talk about his sons, talk about basketball, talk about me,” James told ESPN. “But keep my family out of this.”

A strong statement, but it’s pretty easy to see where LeBron is coming from on this one. It’s one thing when LaVar Ball talks about current or former NBA players, but it’s another when he talks about someone else’s kids, especially when those kids aren’t even teenagers. It’s pretty safe to say that if LeBron or someone else started talking about LaVar Ball’s younger children, he would, understandably, have something to say in response. 

In short, don’t talk about other people’s young kids in the media. It’s weird. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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