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

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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.

Lakers meet with Derrick Rose, Ian Clark about backup point guard slot

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At a press conference this week introducing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Magic Johnson said that the Lakers wanted to find a backup point guard in the next week or so.

Thursday the Lakers took a couple of steps down that road, meeting with both Derrick Rose and Ian Clark.

Both men would serve as the backup to, and potential mentor for, Lonzo Ball. The questions come down to which man better fits that role, and of course money.

Rose put up solid numbers last season in New York — 18 points per game, a PER of 17 — and statistically appeared to be an average NBA point guard. However, he’s still a defensive liability, cannot space the floor as a shooter (21.7 percent from three last season), and he’s not versatile offensively.

Rose is thought to be choosing between the Lakers and Cavaliers, both teams offering one-year contracts (Chicago has been mentioned is a highly unlikely reunion). Cleveland can offer the chance to chase a ring and play with LeBron James, but only a veteran minimum contract of $2.1 million. The Lakers can offer the same minimum contract or the room exception of $4.3 million (it’s not known if the Lakers put that larger offer on the table, but it seems plausible to likely). Rose has to choose what he wants, what he prioritizes, in neither case is he going to start or be part of the long-term plans — this is a one-year choice.

Clark played for Luke Walton in Golden State, is younger and more athletic than Rose, shot 37.4 percent from three last season, and is coming off his best season playing almost 15 minutes a game and winning a ring with the Warriors. He’s not as good as running the offense as Rose, but last season he cut down on his turnovers and improved his defense, taking steps forward with both. If things work out, he could stick with the Lakers beyond this season, but they will only offer a one-year contract for now.

Los Angeles has other options out there on the point guard market — Brandon Jennings, Ty Lawson, Deron Williams — but the Lakers seem to have narrowed their choice down to Rose or Clark. Once they land the backup point guard, the roster will

Shaq calls his absurd light-up shoes the real Big Baller Brand

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Because 7’1″, 350-pound Shaquille O’Neal needed an impossible-to-ignore pair of light up shoes to call attention to himself…

Shaq posted a video of himself on Instagram wearing some outrageous light-up shoes — then in the comments decided to take another dig at Big Baller Brand.

Boy was shining wasn't he #whatarethose #shineonem #feetwork #shaqshoestherealbigballerbrand

A post shared by DR. SHAQUILLE O'NEAL Ed.D. (@shaq) on

So how much do those shoes cost? More or less than ZO2?

One of the things I enjoyed about Summer League was that as Lonzo Ball played better and better, the spotlight shifted more to his play and more away from his father. Think what you will of LaVar Ball — marketing genius or loud-mouthed dad — personally I’m just weary of him. I like Lonzo’s play, I don’t need the rest.

However, between Shaq and Charles Barkley, I think there’s going to be a lot of LaVar/Big Baller Brand talk on Inside the NBA next season. Those two can’t help themselves.

After four years out of NBA, Pacers give Damien Wilkins chance to return

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Consider this the most unexpected signing of the summer.

The last time we saw Damien Wilkins in the NBA, the 6’6″ wing out of the University of Georgia was finishing his ninth NBA season, averaging 6.4 points per game and shooting 33.3 percent from three. He looked like a guy who was done at the NBA level. Since then he has played in China, Spain, and the D-League.

The Pacers are giving him another crack to make an NBA roster. They have signed 37-year-old Wilkins to a non-guaranteed deal, reports the Indy Star.

The Indiana Pacers agreed to a one-year, non-guaranteed veteran minimum deal for close to $2 million with small forward and shooting guard Damien Wilkins, a league source confirmed to IndyStar.

The Pacers have 14 guys on the roster already, and they have at the wing Victor Oladipo, Lance Stephenson, Rodney Stuckey, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Glenn Robinson III, it will be tough for Wilkins to crack that rotation.

But he’ll get his chance, and having a desperate veteran pushing guys in camp never hurts. Maybe he can impress enough in camp that if the Pacers don’t want him another team might. It’s a foot in the door, and that’s all Wilkins can ask at this point.

Watch the Top 10 dunks from the NBA Summer League

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Summer League, at its core, is athletic young players in sloppy games.

That leads to massive dunks. Here are the top 10, which John Collins deserving the top spot.