Barkley appeared on CBS’ March Madness coverage in a Kent State jersey on Friday about an hour before Ball’s UCLA team took on the Golden Flashes in the NCAA Tournament’s first round. On TruTV, Barkley added to his newfound beef with Ball by openly rooting against his son.
Barkley called out the eldest Ball, “the one who averaged two whole points a game” despite saying he could beat Michael Jordan 1-on-1 in his prime. Then Barkley explained why he’s wearing a Kent State jersey on national television. Basically, he’s going to root for whichever team is playing UCLA until the Bruins lose. He’s doing this, of course, because he’s sick of seeing LaVar Ball on TV.
“The camera’s gonna keep following him around,” Barkley said. “Let me rephrase that—he’s gonna keep following the camera around. So I need them to lose so we quit showing him. So go Golden Flashes.”
TNT even got around to creating one of their famous photoshops that put Barkley in the stands at Kent State to watch the late tip between the Bruins and the Golden Flashes.
I’m sure junior Kent State guard Kevin Zabo is thrilled Charles Barkley is wearing his jersey, no matter what the reason. It’s likely a lot of people will root against the Balls because of their outspoken father, who is hoping to get a billion-dollar shoe contract for all three of his sons, but I don’t think many people will be buying jerseys to make their point.
Then again, few people have had more beef with LaVar Ball than Barkley himself. The two outspoken basketball guys inevitably found themselves talking about one another earlier this week
Ball isn’t afraid to speak his mind, claiming that Lonzo is better than Steph Curry. That got plenty of attention, including a warning from Curry’s current coach about creating unsustainable hype about young athletes. Still, if LaVar Ball was hoping to build his brand more by finding a sparring partner he can’t do better than Barkley, who has a national platform and is more than willing to say what’s on his mind.
Now we just wait for Ball to show up courtside in a Charles Oakley jersey to really escalate things.