LeBron James issued LaVar Ball a stern warning yesterday to "keep my kids' name out of your mouth" and "keep my family out of your mouth."
But the outspoken father of UCLA star Lonzo Ball and Chino Hills High School (Chino Hills, California) sensations LaMelo Ball and LiAngelo Ball isn't trying to bow down to King James's demands anytime soon. In fact, he's refusing.
Speaking with BET.com today, Mr. Ball called James's response "touchy" and shot down the three-time NBA champion's caveat, saying, "Can't nobody warn me for nothing! I'm a grown-ass man!"
Ball further explained that he was merely expressing his opinions about the NBA superstars' sons not being able to fully live up to their dad's potential on a recent episode of Chris Broussard's In the Zone podcast and that's why he evoked James's sons, LeBron James Jr., 12, and Bryce Maximus James, 9. Ball feels like his trio of sons are better set up for NBA success than James's boys are.
"On the show, they asked me do I think anybody is good as far as superstars' kids. I gave my answer, which was, 'No, I don't think they are.' I think they're good at 12 years old doing whatever they're doing, but they're never going to be as good as the superstars' parents on the fact that I don't know anybody who was a superstar and their kid was really, really good," Ball told BET.com. "I'm not saying their kids are bad, but their kids are not going to be as good as them because I haven't seen it. Until I see it, I'm going to say no."
He added, "So, for LeBron, for him to get touchy because I said that, that's on him. He warned me? Can't nobody warn me for nothing! I'm a grown-ass man! I'll say what I want about anybody. That's where it stands. If he's touchy on that, talking about he gave me a warning...can't nobody warn me! I say what I want."
That being said, Ball made it clear that he doesn't have any personal ill will towards LeBron nor his sons and that he's merely sticking to his beliefs.
"It's no derogatory comment towards his sons or him," Ball continued. "He's talking about 'keep my family out of your mouth.' I'm not talking about your family. I'm responding to the question that somebody said to me and I'm talking about the feeling that I have that I don't think superstars' kids — I'm not saying they're not good kids — I just don't see them being as good as what their parents are."
Ball's comments today came in response to James's warning to the outspoken dad's statements about his sons on Broussard's podcast earlier this month.
"He can talk all about his brand, talk about his sons, talk about basketball, talk about me," James told ESPN yesterday, "but keep my family out of this."
In a short period of time, Ball has boldly predicted that Lonzo "will be better than Steph Curry" and that he himself would've beat Michael Jordan one-on-one back in the day. Plus, he outrageously demanded a $1 billion sneaker deal for his three sons.
We spoke to him about all that and more in a full interview, which will be posted on BET.com Sports tomorrow.
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(Photos from left: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images, Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)