Pryor Inquires: Stage Parenting

By Richard Pryor III

Executive Staff

Q: Is the LaVar Ball train ever stopping?


  • Tired in Trez


A: For those of you who haven’t heard, one of this season’s top players in NCAA men’s basketball has been Lonzo Ball of UCLA. His freshman season included being named a consensus first-team All-American, as well as leading the NCAA in assists. However, the big thing about Lonzo is that his father, LaVar Ball, has been acting a bit crazy over the last few weeks. LaVar, now 48 years old, played basketball at Washington State for one year, and he then transferred to Cal State-Los Angeles, which is a Division II team. Following college, the New York Jets loaned him to the World League of American Football’s London Monarchs, where his best stat was having 28 yards total on kickoff returns. He also was on the practice squads for both the Jets and the Carolina Panthers.


LaVar, who trained all his sons in basketball (Lonzo has two younger brothers, LiAngelo and LaMelo), has said that Lonzo is better than Stephen Curry, LeBron James, and Russell Westbrook, and that he is worth a $1 billion shoe deal. LaVar has also gone on the record saying that despite only averaging 2.2 points per game during his year at Washington State, he would defeat Michael Jordan in a game of one-on-one.


It is clear that LaVar has a case of SPS, or “stage parent syndrome.” Looking to gain fame and prestige by the success of their child, most stage parents wish to live through their child who they wish to get their dream. This presents a drawback to any team wishing to draft LaVar, is that they know that they will have to deal with the media circus that LaVar will bring.


To go back to your question, Tired, I don’t think it will. However, I wish it would, not just for Lonzo’s sake and for his eventual NBA team, but for the fact that all of us sports journalists will continue to be asked about him. I hope that LaVar learns to restrain himself, for both him and his sons.