Count Charles Barkley among the many LaVar Ball critics.
Barkley appeared on ESPN’s “Golic and Wingo” show on Wednesday and laid into Ball the way only Barkley can.
“Everybody talking about how he might be a good father, this and that. No he’s not. He’s just exploiting his kids. … He’s all about Big Baller Brand. He has no foreseeable talent. He’s trying to make money on his kids, and I just feel sadness for those kids because they’re going to do whatever he tells them to do. I just don’t like the guy at all, plain and simple. And don’t tell me he’s a good father. Just because you exploit your kids, trying to make money because you have no talent, that does not make you a good father. That makes you exploiting your kids. And I don’t like the guy at all.
Barkley’s critiques of Ball are familiar, but the bluntness and delivery are all Barkley. The fact that when Barkley speaks, the basketball world listens gives extra weight to the criticism.
His rant comes of the heels of Ball’s two younger sons LiAngelo, 19, and LaMelo, 16, signing to play professional basketball in Lithuania. Ball pulled LiAngelo out of UCLA and LaMelo, who was committed to the Bruins, out of high school. He has famously ridden his eldest son Lonzo’s rise to the NBA to promote himself and his Big Baller Brand.
It's not about the money for the Ball Brothers. They have a passion to play Basketball and to experience playing as pros was the Goal. They have accomplished this mission and are excited to be playing on the same team to top it off. The Big Baller way! pic.twitter.com/QOu6QCtMdf
— Big Baller Brand (@bigballerbrand) December 12, 2017
Barkley didn’t save all of his anger for Ball, laying blame on media for promoting his antics.
“I just feel sadness that the media — CNN, ESPN — has given this guy a platform,” Barkley said. “He represents everything that is bad about sports.”
Barkley’s been on a roll lately, with his LaVar Ball take coming on the heels of stumping in U.S. Senate race in Alabama to help elect Doug Jones over Roy Moore.
And this isn’t likely to be the last we hear from Barkley on the Ball family. A response from LaVar, in the meantime, seems inevitable.
We’ll be watching.