LaVar Ball to critical reporter: ‘Stay in your lane… She scares me to death’


LaVar Ball won.

The Lakers landed the No. 2 pick in the upcoming NBA draft, seemingly ideally positioning them to pick Lonzo Ball. Lakers president Magic Johnson said LaVar wouldn’t affect how the the Lakers view Lonzo, and they’re reportedly enamored with him. It’s coming together exactly as LaVar willed and Lonzo wanted.

But as LaVar strutted in victory, he dug himself the biggest hole his publicity hunt has landed him in.

First, some background: Kristine Leahy of Fox Sports alleged in March that LaVar “forced” his sons to play basketball and said Lonzo “looks like he’s terrified to go against anything his father says.”

Appearing with Colin Cowherd and Leahy today, LaVar had a few testy exchanges with Leahy about his shoe brand:

  • Ball: “I’ve sold a good amount, to me. Like I said, there’s different amounts.”
  • Leahy: “How many?”
  • Ball: “Stay in your lane. Anyway, on The Herd, like I was telling you.
  • Leahy: “I’m just curious.”
  • Ball: “I don’t even worry about her over there.”
  • Leahy: “Why not? That’s kind of disrespectful.”
  • Ball: “She scares me to death. She said she scares Lonzo – Lonzo’s scared of me. She scares me. That’s why I don’t even look that way. I don’t look over there, because she scares me. I’m thinking of ‘Saw’ right now. Leave me alone. I’ll tell you – four-, five-hundred pair.”
  • Cowherd: “She’s a reporter. Her job is to probe.”
  • Ball: “She can report to whoever she want behind her. I’m talking to you, Colin.”
  • Leahy: “What is your problem with me?”
  • Ball: “My problem is, you are a hater. ‘I would never wear a Big Baller shirt.’ Well, good. Don’t even talk to Big Baller. I heard you say it. I’m not even worried about it.
  • Leahy: “I didn’t say that. I said that I wouldn’t wear something, as a woman —”
  • Ball: “That says Big Baller. It’s the same thing. With all due respect, you’re a great reporter – just not reporting on me.”
  • Leahy: “I have a right to say what shirt I would and wouldn’t wear.”
  • Ball: “Uh-oh, welcome to Big Baller zone.”
  • Cowherd: “She said ‘baller’ was offensive.
  • Ball: “To her, it is.”
  • Leahy: “No, no, no. I didn’t say it was offensive. I didn’t say it was offensive. I just said that if you wanted to work with Nike, Adidas and Under Armour, to maybe have something that appeals to women.”
  • Cowherd: “I thought that was a legitimate — I mean, I don’t have to agree, but I thought that was a pretty good point.”
  • Ball: “I don’t agree with her. It’s a good point because y’all friends. I’m not friends with her. I don’t even see her.
  • Leahy: “I wasn’t even saying it as I would never wear this. I’m saying –”
  • Ball: “What’s this show about again? Ain’t we talking about shoes? I don’t want to talk about that. Next.”
  • Leahy: “Well, I think that in order to have a successful company, you’re going to have to have women who like your brand.”
  • Ball: “Uh, yeah, if you have a women’s company. But anyways.”
  • Leahy: “Oh, so you’re not marketing to women?”
  • Ball: “We’re talking about Big Baller Brand.”


  • Ball: “I’m not even worried about you right now. Keep in your lane.”
  • Leahy: “Can you look me in the eye?”
  • Ball: “I don’t want to look you in the eye. You scare me to death.”
  • Leahy: “Oh, thank you.”
  • Ball: “You’re scaring me right now. I don’t want to look that way.”


  • Leahy: “They wouldn’t want to work with you anyway, because you don’t respect women. So.”
  • Cowherd: “She’s after you today.”
  • “Ball: “Oh, I don’t respect women? But I’m the one that’s married. I’m good,” Ball said. “She can say what she want. She’s trying to — I never disrespect women.
  • Leahy: “You did on the show today.
  • Ball: “But I tell you what, if you act like that, guess what? Something’s coming to you. And it’s OK.”
  • Leahy: “Wait, are you threatening me?.
  • Ball: “See how she’s trying to turn the words? I would never threaten you.”
  • Leahy: “You said something’s coming to me.”
  • Ball: “I don’t know what it is. I’m not a psychic.”

Ball is clearly shooting back at Leahy for how she psychoanalyzed his family from afar. One problem: She did it several weeks ago, and not everyone realizes the context of Ball’s comments. So, he’s left sounding misogynistic (and maybe being misogynistic, but absolutely sounding misogynistic).

Ball’s brand is brashness, but does he want that brand to include misogyny? Big Baller Brand’s website has a section of women’s shirts, for what it’s worth.

Ball also snapped at Jason Whitlock, another critic, but one who wasn’t there: “I don’t think he can comment on anything but snacks.”

These comments also have an outside chance of harming Lonzo’s draft stock. Though most NBA executives agreed LaVar won’t affect Lonzo in the draft, professional sports leagues are becoming increasingly conscious of their image on treatment of women. LaVar’s previous public comments have mostly been hyperbolic, but harmless. His digs into Leahy struck a nerve with many.

LaVar – maybe due to justifiable retribution, maybe not; maybe out of misogyny, maybe not; maybe just out of general rudeness, maybe not – created an image problem for himself today. He ought to hope it won’t extend to Lonzo.

Report: Michele Roberts to seek second contract as players’ union head

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Michele Roberts entered the NBA’s player union in a tumultuous time — long-time union president Billy Hunter had been ousted in a rancorous fight, the union felt adrift, and negotiations with the NBA on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement were looming (and players felt they had been screwed in the last CBA, following the lockout).

Roberts, the first female head of a professional sports labor union, settled things down. She cleaned up the union finances and made them more transparent to players, she worked hard to establish relationships with the players, and while she rattled some sabers with the NBA in negotiations, she also worked in a non-combative way with Adam Silver and team (unlike the Billy Hunter/David Stern relationship) and got a deal done the players liked without a lockout or labor mess.

Roberts’ contract with the union is up, but she is going to ask for a new deal — one she likely gets — reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

With an original four-year agreement set to expire in September, Michele Roberts plans to seek a new contract as the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, sources tell ESPN…

Roberts had strongly considered staying in the NBPA’s executive director role for only the length of her original contract — and expressed that to the union’s senior membership — but has recently decided to pursue a longer tenure, sources said.

NBPA president Chris Paul played a significant part in Roberts’ hiring in July 2014 and he has built a strong working relationship with Roberts.

Roberts also has a good relationship with the star-heavy executive committee of the union — CP3, LeBron James, Stephen Curry and others — making it likely she gets a new deal.

As for what’s next, at the front of that list Roberts is working with Silver and others on reforming the NBA’s one-and-done rule (it was supposed to be part of the CBA negotiations but was too big and complex an issue to fold into that timeline).

Neither the owners or players can opt out of the CBA for four more years (and if neither side does it runs a couple more beyond that) so labor peace will continue in the NBA for a while.

Isaiah Thomas rewarded on epic flop with offensive foul call vs. Heat

Getty Images

Why do NBA players flop on defense? Because it works.

While there is less of it than there was a couple of years back — when the NBA made a big show about calling more flops and warning (then eventually fining players a pittance) for the move — it still exists. Case in point, this impressive one from Isaiah Thomas of the Lakers on Tyler Johnson of the Heat Friday night (hat tip AminElHassavag at NBA Reddit).

Was there a little contact, sure, but Thomas fell back like he was shot by the second gunman on the grassy knoll. He exaggerated the contact, which is the definition of flopping. Thing is, he got the call (the ref who made the call, from his position, might only have seen the contact and not necessarily the extent of exaggeration, but that’s where the other officials need to step in).

Not that everything went Thomas’ way Friday night.

Suns’ Marquese Chriss, Jared Dudley fined $25,000 each for knocking down Ricky Rubio


Marquese Chriss and Jared Dudley got off light.

There should have been suspensions involved for the cheap shots leveled on Ricky Rubio by the pair during Thursday night’s blowout Jazz win. Instead, the pair were fined $25,000 a piece by the league Saturday for this incident.

Rubio has a knee contusion from the incident Jazz coach Quin Snyder confirmed, however, Rubio is available to play Saturday vs. the Kings.

Dudley was given a flagrant 2 and ejected at the time, Chriss was handed just a flagrant 1 for his escalation. I don’t completely buy Dudley’s explanation here either — I think they were pissed Rubio stepped over a down Chriss to inbound the ball and made him pay for it — but he did own up to it being excessive.

So to be clear, if you throw a haymaker and miss — as Aaron Afflalo did recently — that’s a two-game suspension. But if you throw or body check a player to the ground, that’s just 25 large, no time missed. Players wanting retaliation will take note of that.

Roulette tables are less random than the NBA’s enforcement policies.

Check out Terrance Ferguson’s acrobatic layup vs. Clippers (VIDEO)


It was supposed to be an alley-oop.

However, Raymond Felton‘s pass was low. And not just a little low, a few feet low.

Oklahoma City’s athletic rookie Terrance Ferguson was leaving the ground as the pass was thrown, meaning he had to make an in-air adjustment — and the results were spectacular.