Jay Bilas, former Duke basketball star and current ESPN college basketball analyst, tore into LaVar Ball calling him a “misogynistic buffoon,” a “joke” and shameless for his attention-grabbing behavior.
Bilas was responding to a recent incident at Ball’s son, LaMelo’s, AAU game.
Ball forced event organizers to remove a female referee, and Bilas attacked the offensive tactics he used to garner media attention.
“I do not know of any major accomplishments in any area of business or entrepreneurship… worthy of public recognition,” Bilas wrote. “Nor do I know of any skill he has demonstrated as a youth coach.”
The nonstop coverage and discussion of the elder Ball’s every move has become a staple of ESPN’s lineup, going so far as to provide wall-to-wall coverage of his son LaMelo’s AAU game. Rather than simply ignoring the man he sees as talentless and only taking advantage of his children’s’ talents, Bilas decided to contribute to the nauseating pablum at ESPN.
To Bilas’ credit, he does acknowledge the masterful way in which Ball has controlled the media, drawing an appropriate comparison to the Kardashian family. Similar to the Kardashian clan, Ball has no discernible talents or reasons to be famous other than that provide consistent content and clicks on their articles.
“I likened him to a carnival barker, snake oil salesman and basketball Kardashian who is taking advantage of the undeniable talents of his children to elevate himself into the spotlight and make the most of an undiscerning public that will be mesmerized by any shiny object.”
Bilas defended his previous attraction to Ball saying, “He was fun to watch. And fun to laugh at. And laugh with. I thought he was in on the joke.” This underlines, however, the garbage that ESPN and most of the media is willing to push when they lose sight of their mission.
ESPN’s coverage of LaVar’s son, Lonzo Ball’s shoes was perhaps peak insanity for the network. The assumption that Sportscenter cannot survive without the public getting their daily fix of LaVar Ball and co. is clearly absurd. The ratings that they get from LaVar Ball and his antics are derived not from the public’s ceaseless desire to see more of his foolishness or misplaced swagger but from an ability to get a chuckle from a carnival barker on a network that has seemingly abandoned real sports coverage.
While many of the points that Bilas makes about Ball hold merit, it has become custom of ESPN to acknowledge the stupidity of their constant coverage of individuals by providing even more commentary and reporting on the matter, valuing site traffic and Twitter hot takes over what many wished they would return to: highlights and Top 10s.
Simultaneously lamenting the media’s coverage of LaVar Ball while writing a headline article for the Worldwide Leader on the matter seems contradictory to Bilas’ main argument, that LaVar Ball is a talentless misogynist that is not worth anyone’s time.
“I thought LaVar was playing us all like his own Big Baller Brand Stradivarius.”
Congratulations Jay Bilas, you played yourself.