There is an old adage in sports media that says, “You have to tell stories to get stories.” Yesterday, Armchair found that out in a rather interesting way.
On March 15, I ran an article titled: Lavar Ball: The epitome of what is wrong with modern sports. It touched on helicopter parenting and the monetization of potentially profitable children. Without commenting on upbringing tactics, I attempted to delve into Lavar Ball’s seemingly unnecessary promotion of his own sons for his personal benefit.
About an hour after the article was run, I received a comment on it from a member of the Ball family, who wishes to remain anonymous. The comment (which has since been removed to protect the email address and identity of the commenter) read as follows:
-“Wow. You nailed it. Although you don’t even know the half of it. Lavar took over the high school program, added the Coach, his puppet (which is why he quit last year after becoming the national coach of the year) and Lavar stepped on and crushed countless other kids’ careers and love for the game to get his kids on the court. If you are allowed to shoot at any time from any where and never come out of the game, any decent idiot could score 30 points.
Also, Tina Ball, his wife had a stroke on Feb 21. She had life threatening skull surgery to relieve brain pressure – guess where Lavar was during the operation that could have killed his wife? – at the CHHS vs. LB Poly game with his sons, including Lonzo. He still has not allowed his kids to see their sick mother due to the media attention it would bring to him, and cause BBB sales to diminish. [Name of hospital] in [City of hospital], CA – Tina is there now and he only visits for 1 hour a few days a week, while her Mother has yet to leave her side. Pathetic!!!”
I was a bit skeptical when I initially viewed the comment. I figured that it was someone attempting to drive a smear campaign against the Ball family, seeing how Lavar was such a polarizing figure. But, the information was oddly specific.
After a bit of deliberation, I contacted the email address listed with the comment. They confirmed through multiple email and social media confirmations that they were, in fact, a close relative of Lavar and Tina Ball. I also spoke with the hospital listed in the email. The hospital confirmed that Tina Ball was checked in as of 12:30PM EST on March 15.
Tina, who was very active on Twitter, stopped communication on February 19, which fits in to the timeline provided below by a member of the Ball family.
When confirming the identity of the member of the Ball family that commented via email, we received another large piece of harrowing information:
The crux of the original story was rooted in that fact that Lavar Ball’s priorities were self-motivated and not for the betterment of a “family brand.” After hearing the explicit details given to us, if these allegations are true – it only confirms one thing for Lavar Ball: money and fame are king.
— Big Baller Brand (@bigballerbrand) February 7, 2017
If family comes first, kids should be with their mother, not with their basketball teams in times of tragedy.
At the end of the day, when the lights go out in the gym, the trophies collect dust, and the championship seasons begin to run together – it’s not basketball, cars, or shoes that stands the test of time. It’s family.
We wish the Ball family nothing but the best as they deal with these tumultuous circumstances.
We will follow this story as it progresses.