Kyrie Irving thinks LaVar needs to take his eye off the Ball for a little bit. The Cleveland Cavaliers guard and former first overall pick knows what it’s like to have a commanding father in his life, but says NBA prospect Lonzo Ball needs to figure things out without his shoe mogul father once he’s in the NBA.
Irving appeared on the Road Trippin’ podcast hosted by former Celtics Richard Jefferson and and Channing Frye and talked about how things will change for Ball once he’s in the Association.
“I’m sorry, LaVar, you’re not going to be in every hotel room that Lonzo is going to be in,” Irving said. “You’re not going to be everywhere and part of his life as he continues to grow up. You got to let go. He’s 19-years old. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want it to bypass him being a father, but he’s got to let Lonzo be Lonzo for the long haul.”
Irving had his own experiences with a basketball father and says Lonzo needs to learn to make his own choices.
“I had to have a talk with my dad, and I was just like, ‘Man, Dad, I love you, but I’m going to make my own decisions,'” Irving said. “And he told me, when I turn 18, I’m responsible enough for myself to make my own decisions, and he’s going to be there to help along the way. But when I turned 18, like, I got my first tattoo. I got my ear pierced. I just started doing my own thing.”
Irving makes a good point, but it’s difficult for the public to know just how much influence Lonzo Ball is having on his career at this point. His father is doing all the talking, making appearances on the radio and shooting down advice from other players like Kobe Bryant. It’s all talk until Ball takes the court, but Irving isn’t just talking about his play: he means Ball has to live his own life and decide what he wants from it.
Above all, Irving said he hopes LaVar is as supportive of Lonzo’s choices as he is of Big Baller Brand.
“I don’t know what his future plans are for his sons,” Irving said of LaVar Ball. “I don’t know the dynamic of their relationship. Me and my dad, I always wanted to be just an individual, and you guys always know that. And since I was a kid, my dad never fought that. He never fought that. And when it was time to let me go and be that individual after eighth grade, he stopped coaching me, and he was like, ‘OK, from high school on, you’re on your own. Like, I’m going to be here for advice, but from this point on, I’m just going to be a parent. I can’t be your coach for the rest of your life. I can’t be the Joe Jackson of just staying there on every step and just calculating every move.’ But, man, I just want to see what he has now. I mean, Lonzo, we’re just excited for him to get to the league now.”
Irving isn’t the first NBA player to express concern about Ball’s influence on his son. And all of this is great advice, though I do think Dred Irving should have told his son the Earth is round. But hey, that’s just me.