As March Madness rolls on, one of the bright stars in the NCAA is UCLA's Lonzo Ball. He should be the story, but unfortunately his father is a much bigger one.
At first, it was interesting listening to Lavar Ball talk of plans for a billion -- you heard me right, with a "b" -- billion dollar shoe deal for his three sons (two of whom are still in high school). Then it was funny when he talked about how, during his basketball career -- where he averaged a whole two points per game at Washington State -- he would have killed Michael Jordan in a game of one-on-one.
But then it stopped being funny when he took aim at LeBron James' children, speculating they'd fail to achieve what their father has in basketball.
If there's a universal in the world, it's that all parents want a better life for their children. It's the driving force for so many people, and it's not for someone else to try to take that dream away.
Frankly, it's really not right to drag anyone's children into the spotlight. In an era where social media allows everyone to weigh in with a very public opinion, too often those opinions stray past the original targets and end up involving spouses and children of politicians, athletes, celebrities, and others.
And it's just not right.
As for professional media, we have to shoulder some blame, too. Just because Lavar Ball says some silly things, too many media outlets are happy to hand him the microphone. We've helped make him a national presence just so we can shake our heads at the things he says.
Lavar Ball isn't the first person to remember their glory days as being more impressive than they actually were, and he's not the first to publicly dream of being a billionaire. But it would be great if he were the last person to try to make himself feel better at the expense of other people's children.
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