LaVar Ball is the Kardashian of the NBA, says Steve Kerr as Warriors coach blasts ESPN coverage
Golden State’s Kerr comes to defence of his former assistant Luke Walton, after father of Lonzo Ball claims Lakers coach has ‘no control’ of team
Golden State coach Steve Kerr called LaVar Ball “the Kardashian of the NBA”, and said he thinks the father of Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball has zero credibility.
Disgusted, Kerr made his remarks before the Warriors’ game against Denver. He was asked about LaVar Ball after the demonstrative dad told ESPN the Lakers no longer want to play for coach Luke Walton, a dear friend of Kerr and former top assistant with the Warriors.
“I’ve talked to people in the media this year, and I’ve said, ‘Why do you guys have to cover that guy?’” the fourth-year Warriors coach began.
“And they say, ‘Well, we don’t want to. Nobody wants to. But our bosses tell us we have to, because of the ratings, because of the readership’. Somewhere – I guess [LaVar] is 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, and that sells.”
Since Lonzo was drafted as the No 1 pick by the Lakers in June, LaVar has continued building the family’s Big Baller Brand company while filming episodes of their Facebook Live reality show.
“That’s what is true in politics, and entertainment, and now in sports,” continued Kerr. “It doesn’t matter if there’s any substance involved in an issue. It’s just, ‘Can we make it interesting in a – for no apparent reason’.
“There’s nothing interesting about that story [LaVar’s comments about Walton]. You know how many parents of my players have probably been at home going, ‘Why isn’t he playing my kid?’ And yet, we’re sticking a microphone in front of his face because apparently it gets ratings.”
The difference on this front, as Kerr noted, is that LaVar appears to have the media microphone whenever he so pleases.
“[People] must care, or ESPN wouldn’t be spending, you know, whatever they’re spending to send reporters to Lithuania, while laying off people who are writing really substantial [stories],” Kerr continued.
“People like [former ESPN NBA writers] Ethan Strauss or Marc Stein are getting laid off, so again this is not a condemnation of ESPN.
“It’s not. It’s a societal issue, and it’s been going on for many, many years, and it’s – I think – really invading the sports world now.”
Kerr is in regular touch with Walton and hates to see him in this position. Ball claimed Walton “has no control” of the team and is too young for his job.
“I feel horrible for Luke,” Kerr said. “That’s my guy. He’s one of my best friends. He shouldn’t have to deal with this, but to me one of the things about the NBA is it’s always been a haven from the parents, right?
“The guys who coach high school are the ones who really have to deal with the parents. I’ve never had to talk to a parent who’s upset about playing time.
“I’m sure there are plenty out there, but they don’t have a voice in the NBA. But for whatever reason, we’re giving this guy a voice and Luke’s got to deal with it. It’s a shame.”