The famous Lavar Ball essentially blamed UCLA’s tournament exit on all of the white players because they aren’t very good.
UCLA’s white players include Bryce Alford, Thomas Welsh, and TJ Leaf. That was a very dumb thing for Ball to say.
I don’t really care where you stand on LaVar Ball. Sure, some think he’s a marketing genius while others think he’s nothing more than the obnoxious dad yelling from the first row above the dugout. For this specific instance, your standpoint on his antics are irrelevant.
This scenario is a perfect, timely reminder that people are, generally, stupid. Every once in a while you have a run where you’re serendipitously surrounding yourself with smart people. Maybe you’ve had a couple engaging debates about sports and politics in a few of your classes or with your colleagues. Maybe the other night while watching a game with a couple buddies, you engaged in a thoughtful sports debate where you left and thought, “damn, I really see both sides there.”
Those exchanges definitely occur, and sometimes you get a nice string of them in a row, and you start to regain faith in the human species. “Wow, maybe humans really aren’t that stupid and we are capable of providing thoughtful insight.”
Then, as you’re scrolling through Twitter, you see that LaVar Ball has blamed the loss on the white guys. “Ah, yep. We’re back. People are stupid.”
It’s always a damning back-to-earth moment.
His comment is stupid on a multitude of levels. First, he demonstrates his lack of basketball expertise by basically counting Leaf, Welsh, and Alford as bad basketball players – which they are not. They’re all starters who add multiple levels to UCLA’s offense. Yes, they’ve definitely benefited from Lonzo’s facilitation, but Lonzo’s also benefited from their multi-faceted offensive arsenals. Simply, the white guys for UCLA are not bad. In fact, they are good. For saying they are bad, LaVar is dumb.
Then, there’s the blatantly inappropriate racial aspect to his comment. Even if you truly believe that Leaf, Welsh, and Alford lost the game against Kentucky, for the love of God, don’t come out and say it! There’s some things you just don’t say. If you find yourself at a funeral for someone that you really didn’t care for, the funeral is not the time to stand up and err your grievances. If you really think the person in front of you in line at the grocery store is ugly, it’s probably not a good idea to tap her on the shoulder and go “excuse me ma’am but you’re really ugly.” If you’re playing wiffleball with your kid and he just cannot make contact with the damn ball, it’s a bad idea to tell your kid that he really sucks at sports.
Point is, there’s some things that are just better left unsaid. Just keep your mouth shut. When someone asks why UCLA lost, just say “they didn’t play well,” or “Lonzo is focused on the draft now” or something benign like that. Cliches are your best friend, LaVar.
Can you imagine if Lonzo was drafted by the Celtics? He’d have to play with Kelly Olynyk AND Jonas Jerebko! They’re white! In Los Angeles, he’d have to play for Luke Walton! HE IS ALSO WHITE. THIS IS MADNESS.
LaVar is, as my good friend Mark would say, an “idiot sandwich.”