LaVar Ball watches a UCLA game last season.
LaVar Ball was a top Twitter trend again on Wednesday, but this time because he said something actually offensive.
Because of course he did. Because this is what the tawdry love affair between LaVar and the media has been leading up to all along — a chance for outrage, a chance for righteous indignation, a chance to tear him down when he never should have been built up like this in the first place.
On Wednesday, LaVar served that chance up on a silver platter.
Appearing on Fox Sports 1’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd, LaVar got rather misogynistic in an exchange with co-host Kristine Leahy after Leahy started asking about the ridiculously overpriced line of shoes LaVar recently unveiled.
"Stay in your lane," Ball told Leahy while refusing to look at her and telling Cowherd, "I don’t even worry about her over there."
When Cowherd told Lavar that Leahy is a reporter asking the types of questions that reporters ask, LaVar replied that "she can report to whoever she wants behind her."
He also mocked Leahy’s voice and implied that his Big Baller Brand apparel line isn’t for women. Here’s video if you’re dying to see it all for yourself.
Now, if you’re just catching up on who LaVar is (in which case we’re both surprised and jealous of your blissful ignorance) he burst onto the sports media scene a few months ago piggy-backing off the success of his eldest son, Lonzo, who is projected to be a top-three pick in June’s NBA Draft.
LaVar’s braggadocio and bombast have since made him irresistible to an American media complex that thrives on outrage, spectacle, and — if we really want to get to the point here — bullshit.
After LaVar’s ugly behavior toward Leahy on Wednesday, moralizers on Twitter and pageview-hungry blogs were quick to pick up the comments. Much of that coverage boiled down to this: OMG, CAN YOU BELIEVE WHAT LAVAR BALL SAID? LET’S ALL CLUCK OUR TONGUES ACCORDINGLY.
But the truth is that yes, in fact, we could believe it. And yes, it’s offensive. But no, it’s tough for me to summon much genuine outrage toward LaVar’s comments when they are essentially what the media has been indirectly pining for all along.
LaVar was relentlessly hyped by the media for months precisely because he’s the type of guy prone to saying dumb things.
LaVar greets Lonzo after a UCLA game last season.
When LaVar called out Lonzo’s UCLA teammates last season: This guy! Can you believe him?
When LaVar preposterously said he could have beaten Michael Jordan one-on-one back in his day: LOL, get a load of LaVar!
When LaVar released $500 Big Baller Brand sneakers, the shoes that led to his Wednesday’s confrontation with Leahy: Lavar, man! What will this wild card do next?!?
Indeed, LaVar cracked the code for attracting breathless media attention in the age of Trump. It’s a simple formula, really. All you have to do is keep spewing out bullshit and the media will flock to you like flies. It’s two addicts — LaVar fiends for attention, media outlets for the eyeballs he brings — pushing one another lower and lower into the depths of depravity.
So yes, you can get mad at LaVar for how he treated Leahy on Wednesday. But you’re better off saving that outrage for the media complex that first created this farce.
Sometimes a race to the bottom reaches the finish line faster than you expect.