Everyone has an opinion on LaVar Ball, and Rick Barry is no exception. Barry, though, is different from the average person. One, he’s a Hall of Famer, and two, his sons were proven professional basketball players.
Barry’s take on Ball? Yeah, it’s not positive.
“He just needs to stop,” Barry said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “He’s not doing his son any favors. If he really loves his son and he cares about his son, which I’m sure he does, what he’s doing now is a disservice to his son. His son doesn’t need to have to deal with all of that because he’s probably getting all of those questions. In a way, it’s probably an embarrassment for his son. Let his son’s playing do the talking.”
Lonzo Ball is averaging 14.6 points, 7.7 assists and 6.1 rebounds per game for UCLA (29-4), which is seeded third in the South region.
“From everything I hear, he’s a really terrific teammate and a really good player,” Barry said. “Let his son go and do what he has to do and stop with all of this stuff. It’s like he’s living vicariously through his son and drawing all this attention to himself. It’s not about him. It’s about his son, so let his son revel in all of the things that are taking place and just get on the back-burner.”
LaVar means well – we think – but he could harm his son’s pro prospects and endorsement potential.
“Some people might not even want to deal with having him around,” Barry said. “Seriously, it could be a real problem. It certainly could. That’s why he just needs to back up and let the (kids) do their thing.”
Barry had four sons play professional basketball. He has another son, Canyon, who is a junior at Florida. Barry has no problem giving his thoughts on Canyon’s skills.
But he’s not saying his son is better than Steph Curry.
“It’s a lot different from what his father is doing,” Barry said of Ball. “What his father is doing is crazy. Then he gets into this thing and him and Charles Barkley are going at it. It’s almost like a circus.”
Speaking of the aforementioned Curry, Brandon Tierney wonders if the two-time MVP has become too enamored with taking difficult shots. Golden State (53-14) has lost five of eight.
“Well, there’s no question that at times he takes shots that most coaches would cringe at,” Barry said, laughing. “The degree of difficulty, he’s always up there around the 10 level, it seems. But he is an amazing shooter. When you’re shooting the percentage that he shoots, you can’t really fault that. If you’re shooting in the 40 percentile from three-point range, that’s insane shooting – because 33 percent is equivalent to 50. So if you’re shooting in the 40s, that’s like shooting 60, 70 percent from 2s. You really can’t argue with that.
“The problem is when you’re taking them,” Barry continued. “The whole Warriors team lost the championship last year – well, the officials is one reason because they let the game get overly physical, and I can’t stand that. It’s been a problem ever since I played the game, before I played the game, and even now they let the game become overly physical. I keep trying to ask the NBA, ‘Why do you do that? Why do you want to give an advantage to the less skilled player? It doesn’t take talent and skill to hold and shove and push and play so physical.’ They say, ‘Oh, it’s playoff basketball.’ I always say, ‘Well, show me the new playoff rule book.’ It’s insane.
“That has an impact on a guy like Steph Curry, but it’s not going to impact LeBron James because he’s so big and strong. What happened is the Warriors shot nothing but three-point shots at the end of Game 7, and they killed themselves doing that.”