Kyrie Irving defends LaVar Ball, calls him ‘just a supportive father’
Kyrie Irving has joined a relatively short list of big-time NBA names to come out in defense of the polarizing LaVar Ball, the outspoken father of Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball.
After Irving and the Boston Celtics beat the Lakers by a score of 106-97 Wednesday night at TD Garden, the point guard came to defense of the elder Ball.
“Just a supportive father. Some guys are in the front lines speaking for their kids, some parents are in the back line,” Irving said, via NESN. “Just like the loud parent at graduation clapping unbelievably loud. We all have our different style of parents. I think everyone just needs to appreciate their own.”
Irving largely outplayed the Ball in Boston’s 10th straight win. Although to be fair to the rookie, Ball could understandably be distracted by younger brother LiAngelo’s arrest in China along with two UCLA teammates over an alleged shoplifting incident.
Still, Irving saw good things out of his point guard counterpart and praised Ball for his potential.
“He’s 6-foot-6, unbelievable in transition, understanding that he wants to get his teammates involved,” Irving said. “Can you really put a position on him, particularly right now, I don’t know.
“But he does a great job running that team, and when he started to get comfortable and the pace started to pick up, that’s where he starts to flourish — when it’s going up and down and he’s got to make quick decisions. Defensively he’s going to be challenged every single night. Those are signs that you know he wants to go out there and compete. That’s something you want to see out of a highly touted rookie such as Lonzo.”
What resonates most from Irving’s comments, though, is his defense of LaVar Ball. After all, there has been no shortage of critics of the man who epitomizes the stereotype of the overbearing sports parent. But with the Ball family navigating LiAngelo’s arrest, it’s possible the elder Ball will not be so prominent on the NBA stage, at least in the near future.