From calling LaVar Ball a “big mouth jackass dad” to saying the Ball family patriarch was exploiting his kids to wearing a jersey of a UCLA March Madness opponent on the air, Charles Barkley has never tried very hard to hide his animosity for basketball’s loudest dad.
Not surprisingly, Ball going onto ESPN’s “First Take” and making a suggestive comment to Molly Qerim didn’t really help matters.
Charles Barkley still not a fan of LaVar Ball
Speaking with TMZ, Barkley was asked about Ball and the Hall of Famer had a pretty blunt response:
"Wherever LaVar Ball is, there's a village missing an idiot," Barkley said. " ... We should just keep LaVar off television. That would be the best way to be."
Barkley may get his wish to keep Ball off television, as ESPN has since said that it has “no plans moving forward” with Ball, though that isn’t an outright pledge to keep Ball off the network. And ESPN is only one of many sports networks that could bring Ball on.
For his part, Ball’s camp has denied that his “switching gears” comment had a sexual intent, and the man himself has since doubled down by saying the host’s mind “was in the gutter.”
Barkley did have some kind words for Ball’s eldest son Lonzo, but indicated he had zero expectations that Ball’s behavior will change now that his family’s most valuable member is playing for the New Orleans Pelicans.
“Not just New Orleans, Louisiana, not Los Angeles, [LaVar]’s an idiot in all 50 states,” Barkley said. “It’s really unfair to his son. His son is a good player and a nice kid.”
Fair enough, though we’ll see what happens if Lonzo is ever traded to the Toronto Raptors.
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