LaVar Ball

We’ve heard LaVar Ball — the world’s worst sports dad — praise his sons, in particular Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, incessantly and hyperbolically. We saw him get tougher on Lonzo during NBA Summer League this month, and now we’re getting to see another side of Ball’s personality as a basketball coach.

On Monday, Ball’s AAU team, which features his youngest son, LaMelo, lost in a tournament. After the game, Ball tore into his son in front of the whole team.

LaVar criticized LaMelo for his lack of leadership, spending too much time on his phone, and showboating. (Let’s put aside off-court issues like dropping the n-word on live TV.) And he was as direct as possible in doing so:

“All you want to do is score the ball. And then you want to dance for 20 minutes because you’re selfish and you don’t want to win.”

LaMelo also blew this dunk in embarrassing fashion over the weekend.

Ball has drawn ire from just about everyone in the basketball world with his antics, but you can’t question his motive. He cares very, very deeply about his sons. Now, you may not think building unnecessary hype, like saying Lonzo Ball is already better than Steph Curry or that all three sons will be one-and-dones when two haven’t even entered college yet, helps that cause. Maybe ripping LaMelo a new one in front of his peers isn’t the best tactic either, although I trust LaVar knows how his own son will respond to that kind of criticism.

But the love is there, and that’s what you want most from a dad.

[The Big Lead]

About Jesse Kramer

Jesse is a writer and editor for The Comeback. He has also worked for and runs The Catch and Shoot, a college basketball website based in Chicago. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Follow Jesse on Twitter @Jesse_Kramer.