LaVar Ball isn’t just an intense basketball dad who yells about how great his son is on television and gets himself into hot water by always talking, he’s also an intense basketball coach for his AAU squad, the Big Ballers, who yells at them on the sidelines. On Saturday during a blowout loss at the hands of the Compton Magic, Ball tried to light the fuse of his team at halftime by going off on them, questioning their effort on both ends of the floor and even calling out kids specifically.
In the first video, Ball asks for a better defensive effort and tells one kid to play defense and “stop worrying about getting dunked on,” while also imploring to play entertaining basketball on the offensive end — which he said they clearly weren’t doing considering they had only 25 points at the half.
In the second video, he calls out his point guard (possibly his son LaMelo, the camera doesn’t pan far enough over) for a lack of leadership and trying to isolate too much against double and triple teams. Ball tells his point guard and the rest of the team to pass the ball more in the second half because no one will pass unless he yells for a pass to be made.
The videos of him yelling at the group of teens caused some to be upset, as the LaVar Ball backlash continues over the past two weeks. For the most part, they seem to be pretty much par for the course in my experience of how coaches chew a team out for poor effort. The singling out of players has been the biggest point of contention for some, but he doesn’t spew expletives at his team and is generally trying to get them to play better basketball.
On the list of things to be upset with LaVar Ball over, this one isn’t particularly high for me. The shirt he’s wearing in the video, for one, is much higher than him yelling while coaching because of the context around how the “Stay In Yo Lane” phrase was used towards FS1’s Kristine Leahy. If anything, I find it more interesting that he’s begging for ball movement and better defensive effort, considering what we’ve seen from LaMelo at the high school level from an isolation/cherry-picking/gunner mentality standpoint.
As for whether his speech worked, the answer is not so much. The Big Ballers lost 109-57 and as you can see from the highlights of the game, there wasn’t a lot of defense or ball movement happening — although, one kid did try to play defense without being afraid to be dunked on and subsequently got dunked all over.