LaVar Ball’s wife, Tina, suffered a major stroke in February 2017. Since then, LaVar and the rest of his family have been fairly quiet on her health and recovery process — which is fair, considering the circumstances.
However, in a story from The Washington Post on Thursday, LaVar opened up about his wife’s recovery and their life since the health scare. Tina has regained the ability to walk, though suffers from aphasia, which limits her verbal communication.
Perhaps the thing that stands out the most from the article, though, is why LaVar said Tina had the stroke in the first place — as if it was a choice.
LaVar said that Tina had her stroke — on purpose — so that she “can be quiet for a minute.”
From The Washington Post:
In his suite on this afternoon, during an interview he insists is recorded, LaVar sidesteps questions that would humanize him and offsets the occasional tender moment about his wife — “As long as she can smile, give a kiss and a hug,” he says, “I’m good” — with striking displays of cruelty — “That’s probably why she had the stroke, so she can be quiet for a minute.”
After leaving the hospital and returning home after her stroke, LaVar also said that it was his idea to prohibit her from using a wheelchair in the house.
Though he didn’t do this as a challenge to her to recover faster, but rather that she would be “tearing up our house” by using it inside.
He would often berate her in public, too, once pointing out that she’s “moving like an old-ass lady.”
From The Washington Post:
Rather than slow his gait when they’d go to lunch in Chino Hills, he’d point out she’s “moving like an old-ass lady” because she uses a cane or advise Tina to “put your damn foot forward and walk!”
“Keep moving slow; I’m gonna be inside with the AC blowing,” he now recalls telling her. “[Shoot], I’m not waiting all day for you to walk across the street; you better get to moving.”
LaVar will, during a one-hour interview, praise his wife’s fortitude and progress, but more frequently he brags about the harsh things he has told her over the past 15 months. His words draw shocked expressions from strangers, he says, and LaVar’s own mother often leaves the room when he speaks to Tina this way.
He does not apologize for this or much else, and he believes — or says he believes — Lonzo is the first but not the last of his sons to reach the NBA because of two things: LaVar’s unreasonable expectations and God’s plan, which apparently included giving Tina a near-fatal stroke.
“The Lord said: I’m going to tuck her away in this hospital for a minute, LaVar, till you finish doing what you’re doing,” he says, going on to suggest that his wife’s affliction in no way disrupts their pursuit of success and that he never worried about her because, simply, he’s too lucky for his wife to die young.
“She’ll be a little — excuse my language — [messed] up, but she ain’t gonna die,” he says, and with a videographer maneuvering around the suite, it’s difficult to know whether LaVar truly believes what he’s saying or if it’s just good TV.
Tina moved in with her parents over the past several months, too, while LaVar was off watching his sons play professionally in Lithuania, attempting to start his Junior Basketball Association league, filming their Facebook reality show “Ball in the Family,” or a number of other things to promote the Big Baller Brand. They are currently helping her recover, something doctors initially thought would never be possible.
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