LaVar Ball is making another cameo as the Jerk of the Week again, but it’s not why you think.
Ball was in the news this week because the bombastic basketball dad was dismissive of a reporter on a TV show, told her to “stay in your lane,” and was generally nasty and brooding when he said “something’s coming to you.”
FS1’s Kristine Leahy, Ball’s target, said she received death threats, too, following Ball’s trainwreck appearance with her and Colin Cowherd.
“I think the reason so many networks choose to have him on is because he says a lot of controversial things,” Leahy said.
This is the same reason Ball was booked on Cowherd’s show ‘The Herd’.
For FS1, it couldn’t have gone any better. Two days after Ball’s appearance we’re still talking about it. The show went viral this week.
“He’s loud and a big personality, which I’ve been totally fine with,” Leahy said on the show. “But I hope that (Wednesday) showed who he is and that we stop putting him on all these networks just to get controversial statements out of him because that is potentially what can happen. I think there’s no place for that in TV — no matter what kind of ratings you’re going to get.”
Despite all this, that’s not why Ball is a three-time Jerk of the Week.
Amid the Leahy firestorm, while everyone was talking about how Ball’s big mouth landed him back in the spotlight, the impact he’s having on his son Lonzo is starting to emerge. While everyone was talking and tweeting about LaVar Ball being bad to Leahy on TV, Ben Simmons’s sister showed us all how LaVar is going to make life miserable for Lonzo.
Simmons plays for the 76ers. His sister Olivia Simmons is not a LaVar Ball fan and took to Twitter Thursday to tell the world she hopes her brother dunks on Lonzo Ball. She also wants LaVar’s Big Baller Brand to sell some items for women.
But the bigger point is that she wants her brother to dunk on Lonzo. Why? Because she doesn’t like his father. You get the feeling there are people lining up to jam on the kid, line him up with a hard pick or some extra contact in the paint.
Kevin Durant mocked LaVar Ball in an interview this week when he told a reporter to “stay in your lane.” NBA personalities from LeBron James to Shaquille O’Neal have already had enough of LaVar Ball. So how will LaVar Ball’s son be accepted?
This is why LaVar Ball is such a jerk. Because he’s getting all the attention, he’s saying all these crazy things and making people angry. But ultimately, people will not separate him from his son. If it hasn’t happened already, Lonzo has forfeited his own identity and will forever be associated with LaVar, and for all the wrong reasons. Reggie Miller said on ESPN’s “PTI” on Thursday that Lonzo was a marked man and that he’d would go right at him going to far as to say that he had “huge bull’s eye” on him.
If you voted for Trump, you know how Lonzo must feel. It’s guilt by association these days.
Ask yourself: do you even know what Lonzo sounds like? Have you ever seen him interviewed? He’s going to be a top pick in the NBA Draft in a few weeks, and the only thing most people know about him is what they know about his father.
It’s unfair, but the reality is that Lonzo is going to have to answer for his father’s behavior, and his image might already be tainted forever. How many NBA players are lining up to dunk on Lonzo? How many businesses have already chosen not to associate with him because of his what his father has already said and done and will? How many coaches are apprehensive about having to coach meddling LaVar’s son?
First impressions are lasting impressions, and we’re beginning to see the trickle-down effect of being a jerk.
Lonzo is making enemies in the NBA and in popular culture simply because people don’t like his father. Can you imagine how he’s going to be treated on the road as an NBA rookie?
LaVar Ball, for all his crazy talk, all his obnoxious behavior, all his $500 sneakers and this caricature of the clown prince of sports parents that he’s created, is hurting his son.
But he’s too much of a jerk to realize that.
The Oakland Raiders haven’t moved to Las Vegas yet, but they don’t need to relocate to Sin City to take advantage of women. They’ve been doing it for years.
In fact, the Raiders are such jerks, they had to be taken to court to pay their cheerleaders minimum wage. That’s right, Oakland cheerleaders settled a $1.25 million class-action lawsuit for fair pay. For years, the cheerleaders were paid less than minimum wage by the team, were forced to work nine-hour days without a lunch break, and were never reimbursed for business expenses.
The Raiders, meanwhile, have turned bilking taxpayers out of millions of dollars into an artform. The team will use $750 million of public money to build its new stadium in Vegas, and when they do leave Oakland, the taxpayers there will still be on the hook for $83 million in renovations to a stadium that will be vacant.
The Raiders, like other NFL teams including the Jets, Bills, Bengals and Bucs, had to be taken to court to pay their employees the minimum of what they’re entitled to, the minimum the law allows. The minimum!
That makes them maximum jerks.
Tony Dungy might not be a total jerk, but he sure knows how to sound like one. Dungy compared Colin Kaepernick to football players that have hurt animals (Mike Vick) and women (Joe Mixon) this week in an interview with Newsday.
Dungy was wondering if signing Kaepernick, who is still a free agent, would be “worth the criticism” NFL teams were OK enduring when they signed those other public enemies.
Vick and Mixon got second chances. Yet Kaepernick, who never hurt anyone else, who waged a non-violent protest, gets no such courtesy. That doesn’t make Dungy a jerk; that’s on NFL teams.
What makes Dungy a jerk is comparing Kaepernick to players who have committed crimes. Only a jerk doesn’t see that taking a knee is not even in the same zip code as punching a woman in the face.
Finally, Browns draft pick Caleb Brantley is off the hook. It would be a jerk move to only report when players get in trouble, so you should know the defensive lineman, who was accused of knocking out a woman weeks before the NFL Draft, had his battery complaint thrown out because of a lack of reliable evidence.
The legal saga, which contributed to him slipping to the sixth round, may have cost Brantley more than $3 million in salary on his first NFL contract.