ESPN analyst Jay Bilas ripped LaVar Ball as a “misogynistic buffoon” and called him a “joke” that isn’t funny anymore in a scathing column titled, “LaVar Ball crossed the line and isn’t worthy of our attention.”
Ball is the father of Los Angeles Lakers star rookie Lonzo Ball, who recently won Most Valuable Player of the NBA Summer League. LaVar has emerged as a household name among sports fans with his over-the-top comments, outlandish predictions and unique business tactics. His latest news-making stunt was threatening a female referee while coaching a game for his youngest son.
“LaVar Ball has shown himself to be a misogynistic buffoon that is unworthy of our time and attention. I’m done,” Bilas tweeted with a link to the column.
ESPN has given Ball a platform and allowed him to appear on a variety of the network’s programming, even allowing him to broadcast part of a Summer League game while his son was on the court. During an appearance on Fox Sports 1 he told Kristine Leahy to “stay in her lane,” which Bilas said was “disrespectful and unnecessary” to the point of being misogynistic. Ball used similar language with the female referee last weekend.
“I enjoyed many of the antics of LaVar Ball, and from the beginning, I likened him to a carnival barker, snake oil salesman and basketball Kardashian who is taking advantage of the undeniable talents of his children to elevate himself into the spotlight and make the most of an undiscerning public that will be mesmerized by any shiny object,” Bilas wrote.
Bilas continued: “His ‘talent,’ if you wish to stretch the word, is his shamelessness in saying the outrageous, the outlandish and the demonstrably untrue… I enjoyed LaVar Ball and his antics at first, I now find him close to intolerable.”
The ESPN veteran ended the column by saying, “He is a misogynistic buffoon unworthy of my time.”
It remains to be seen if ESPN executives feel the same way.