Tom Sorensen

Here’s the only way celebrity dad LaVar Ball should attempt to be Jordan-esque

UCLA guard Lonzo Ball, right, shakes hands with his father, LaVar, on March 4 in Los Angeles. The celebrity father has become famous for all the wrong reasons.
UCLA guard Lonzo Ball, right, shakes hands with his father, LaVar, on March 4 in Los Angeles. The celebrity father has become famous for all the wrong reasons. AP

The idea of an obscure father using a well-known son to attract attention is wrong on every level, the epitome of “Hey, look, I’m famous, how you like me now?”

The answer is: Not much.

LaVar Ball claims the outrageous and, yes, we get sucked in and talk about it and write about it. LaVar has claimed that his son, Lonzo is better than Steph Curry, that the sons of LeBron James will be held back because their dad is a star, and that he would have beaten Michael Jordan in a game of one on one.

LaVar says he would have beaten Jordan in Jordan’s prime. As far as I can tell, LaVar didn’t have one.

Interestingly, Lonzo is nothing like his dad. Although a fine scorer for UCLA in this, his freshman season, he’s unselfish. He runs the offense and willingly gives up the ball and will be one of the first picks in the 2017 NBA draft.

As far as being the parent of a star goes, there’s no one true way to do it. But I like this one.

Michael Jordan, who owns the Charlotte Hornets, was of course a star for the Chicago Bulls. When the Bulls came to Charlotte, Michael’s late father, James, would sit near the court and watch.

When Michael did something outrageously good, James would smile. The move wasn’t about him, James. It was about his son, Michael. James looked bemused.

James could have been at a T-ball, coach-pitch or Little League game. He was a proud dad watching his son. Aside from Michael, nobody needed to know he was there.

Tom Sorensen is a retired Charlotte Observer columnist. Sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on Twitter: @tomsorensen

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