LaVar Ball was once a ubiquitous presence on ESPN’s airwaves as he drove the hype machine for his oldest son, Lonzo, heading into the 2017 NBA Draft.
Ball ultimately got his wish as Lonzo was drafted by the Lakers, but a combination of Lonzo’s uneven play and LeBron James coming in to cast his gigantic shadow over the young Lakers slowly saw LaVar, despite his best efforts like sending his other two children to Lithuania, fade into the background. Lonzo being traded to New Orleans led to LaVar’s return to the spotlight, putting a curse on the Lakers and making an appearance on First Take.
During that appearance, Ball crossed a line with host Molly Qerim-Rose with a comment that led ESPN to issue a statement condemning it as “completely inappropriate.”
On Wednesday, Richard Deitsch of The Athletic spoke with an ESPN spokesperson who confirmed the company no longer plans to put Ball on any of their platforms, from TV to radio to digital, following that incident.
It’s not the first time Ball has had such an incident on the air, as he told Kristine Leahy to “Stay in your lane” in the now-infamous segment on Fox Sports 1’s The Herd. While many wish ESPN had made this edict to not have LaVar Ball on TV years ago, now it appears he’s finally being cut off after crossing the line.