LaVar Ball has consistently made headlines over the past few months and has quickly become one of the most recognizable and quotable sports figure of 2017. He has mainly stuck to harmless predictions and projections, but this time he may have gone a bit out of bounds. In a recent interview with the Southern California New Group, LaVar placed blame on Lonzo’s UCLA teammates for their loss in the Sweet 16 to the Kentucky Wildcats saying, “…you can’t win no championships with three white guys because the foot speed is too slow.”
Before we get into how atrocious his statement is, let’s backtrack for a second. Earlier on in the year, LaVar went on record saying that UCLA would win the National Championship. There certainly was a period of time when the Bruins looked like a legitimate contender to win it all. Had they been placed on a different side of the bracket and avoided the Wildcats they may have had a chance to advance even further in the tournament.
Regardless of the outcome in the tourney, UCLA ended the regular season ranked No.3 in the country, avenging each of their losses throughout the year. The Bruins team had three players – Lonzo, T.J. Leaf (one of those white guys LaVar was talking about), and Ike Anigbogu – that are projected to be first-round picks in the upcoming NBA Draft. This team was legitimate through and through.
Tying back to LaVar’s quote, how is it that a couple of months ago they were a lock for the title, but when they lose they were handicapped due to the skin color of their players. Completely disregarding the fact that Lonzo’s mother is also Caucasian. For the first time in LaVar’s lengthy run as the face of sports talk television, this will be the first time he has contradicted himself and it doesn’t look all that good on him.
Lonzo is completely separate from his father, making it unfair to belittle his play because of something LaVar said. Though it should be noted it was Lonzo and not one of those “white guys” that gave up 39 points to De’Aaron Fox. There were reports that Zo played with a hurt hamstring, but when the player suits up there shouldn’t be any talk about being injured.
The Bruins got flat out-played, it had nothing to do with trotting out three white players. Leaf, Bryce Alford and Thomas Welsh were big contributors – along with Zo, Aaron Holiday, and Issac Hamilton – for UCLA having such a successful season. They went 31-5 because of them, not in spite of them.
The polarizing father has said some wild things in the past, but this disappointing quote should be a sign that we need a break from LaVar Ball.