LaVar spent the months leading up to the 2017 NBA Draft talking up his son, Lonzo, who went on to be selected by the Los Angeles Lakers second overall. In the months following, he took his other two younger sons to Lithuania to play pro ball and trashed Lonzo’s coach Luke Walton along the way.
The team publicly supported Walton, LaVar has stayed quiet and everything seems to have calmed down for the most part. LaVar has focused on his two younger sons and finishing the season up with Vytautas.
While many have been taken aback by LaVar’s outlandish demeanor, Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant apparently loves what he calls a “normal AAU dad,” in a conversation with The Ringer’s Bill Simmons (at the 43:49 mark):
“You know why I love LaVar? Because he reminds me of a normal AAU dad,” Durant said.
“I’ve seen dads like him. I grew up watching dads like LaVar and I’m like ‘I appreciate what you bring.’ Me and my dad are so tight right now, but growing up, my dad didn’t really come to games, so I wish I had a dad like that. A lot of players wish they had dads like LaVar. Just being in support, Maybe not going on ESPN or putting pressure on him like he did Lonzo, but it’s just like LaVar is the prototypical ‘pops’ on the AAU circuit.
I like him. I like his family. Every time we play the Lakers and I see him, I give him a big hug and I’m like, ‘I like what you doing, man. I enjoy it. I just like your personality. I like that you care about the game so much and care about your sons so much.’ That’s what I like. Big Baller Brand? I’m not getting into that, but I like what he’s done.”
While Durant supports LaVar’s big personality, the one thing he told Simmons was that he didn’t like the Big Baller Brand patriarch’s jabs at NBA coaches, specifically his spat with Walton.
“Yeah I don’t like when he’s talking about coaches like that,” Durant said. “Don’t talk about the coach.”
Durant’s not the first NBA player to defend Ball’s support of his children and the way he parent.s And the comments have to be music to his ears, as hew hopes to help with the recruiting of LeBron James to Los Angeles this summer.
(H/T Harrison Faigen)