OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Golden State coach Steve Kerr calls LaVar Ball “the Kardashian of the NBA,” and he thinks the father of Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball has zero credibility.
Kerr made his remarks in response to a question about LaVar Ball after Ball told ESPN that the Lakers no longer want to play for coach Luke Walton, a dear Kerr friend and former top assistant with the Warriors.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, the president of the National Basketball Coaches Association, has called the ESPN article “a disgrace” and LaVar Ball’s comments an “ignorant distraction.”
Kerr says Monday night: “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, and that’s what’s true in politics and entertainment and now in sports. It doesn’t matter if there’s any substance involved with an issue, it’s just can we make it really interesting for no apparent reason.”
Here are Kerr’s full comments, hat tip to NBC Sports Bay Area:
“This is the world we live in now. I was thinking about ESPN. They laid off, I don’t know, 100 people. How many people did they lay off over the last year? More? Well over 100. Many of whom were really talented journalists covering the NBA. This is not an ESPN judgment, it’s a societal thing more than anything.
“Where we’re going is were going away from covering the game and getting close to sensationalized news. It’s not even news really, it’s just complete nonsense. But if you package that irrational nonsense with glitter and ribbon, people are going to watch. I’ve talked to people in the media this year. I say ‘Why do you guys have to cover that guy?’ They say they 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 this 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, and I guess that sells and that’s what’s true in politics, in entertainment and now in sports. It doesn’t matter if there is any substance involved with an issue. It’s just, can we make it really interesting, for no apparent reason. There’s nothing interesting about that story.
“Do you know how many parents of my players are sitting at home going ‘Why isn’t he playing my kid?’ And yet, we’re sticking a microphone in his face because it apparently gets ratings. I don’t know how cares, but people care. They must care, or ESPN wouldn’t be spending whatever they’re spending to send reporters to Lithuania when they are laying off people who are writing really substantial (stories), people like Ethan Strauss and Marc Stein are getting laid off. Again, this is not a condemnation of ESPN. It’ not. It’s a societal issue. It’s been going on for many, many years. And it’s invading the sports world now.”