LaVar Ball has become quite the national character. And not in an endearing way.
By now, most sports fans likely know the father of UCLA star Lonzo Ball has a taste for the limelight and a flair for the dramatic, but he may have taken things a step too far on Thursday night.
With his son set for to enter the NBA Draft following a NCAA Tournament exit at the hands of Kentucky in the Sweet 16, the elder Ball has little reason to hold back on criticizing the Bruins for their 86-75 loss to John Calipari’s Wildcats. And he didn’t.
According to a report from The Orange County Register’s Clay Fowler, LaVar Ball blames the “white guys” on UCLA’s roster for the lack of a national championship for his one-and-done son.
Here’s a look at the exact quote:
“Realistically you can’t win no championship with three white guys because the foot speed is too slow,” LaVar Ball said. “I told Lonzo – ‘One of these games you might need to go for 30 or 40 points.’ It turned out the that was the one game. Then once they get to the Elite 8, they’re right there.”
Fowler presumes that Ball is referring to UCLA starters TJ Leaf, Bryce Alford and Thomas Welsh. The trio accounted for 39 of UCLA’s 75 points in the loss.
Perhaps this is a bit of sour grapes? After all, it was Kentucky guard De’Aaron Fox who stole the show with a NCAA Tournament freshman record 39 points in the game, while Lonzo Ball was held in check to the tune of 10 points and eight assists during the March 24 meeting.
To add to the controversy, LaVar Ball also claims his son was dealing with a serious hamstring injury in the loss, even though Bruins coach Steve Alford and the player himself indicated there was no injury following the loss. We should find out the truth on that story as his health records are scrutinized leading into the draft.