LaVar Ball officially has moved from outlandish to obnoxious.
During his appearance Wednesday on Colin Cowherd’s Fox Sports 1 show, co-host Kristine Leahy had the temerity to ask Ball how many pairs of Big Ballers shoes he’s sold. His response: “Stay in your lane.” Then, after much back-and-forth about whether Ball was marketing his company toward women — he apparently isn’t — Ball took a shot at Fox Sports 1’s Jason Whitlock, who wasn’t even there.
“Going back to Whitlock, I don’t think he can comment on anything but snacks,” Ball said.
LaVar Ball talks about BBB and more pic.twitter.com/7dgc25CjLl
— Bruh Report (@BruhReport) May 17, 2017
To which Whitlock replied:
— Jason Whitlock (@WhitlockJason) May 17, 2017
Later on Wednesday, during a segment on FS1’s “Speak for Yourself,” Leahy responded to what she deemed Ball’s threatening remarks.
Here is my response to what happened today with LaVar Ball. pic.twitter.com/kPb83onpES
— Kristine Leahy (@KristineLeahy) May 17, 2017
“LaVar Ball has every right to disagree with anything that I say, anything that any of us say. I really enjoy debate. I just like it to be respectful. You and I debate, we debate all the time. It’s what we do here,” Leahy said while speaking to Chris Broussard, Jason Whitlock and Colin Cowherd. “But we do it in a respectful way. We don’t threaten each other. We don’t dismiss each other. We look each other in the eye. We don’t make personal attacks about weight.”
Leahy likely was reacting to this quote from Ball: “I never disrespect women. But I’ll tell you what, if you act like that, guess what? Something’s coming to you, and it’s okay.”
Leahy immediately called Ball on the menacing remarks; Ball denied he was making a threat, but refused to look at Leahy (she was seated behind him on the set).
In her response, Leahy went on to say that she was doing her job as reporter when questioning ball, but had to stand up for herself once when he was “dismissive” of her.
“I had two choices: I could either sit back and take it … Or I could stand up for myself and talk to him,” Leahy said. She continued:
“He goes on lots of shows. He has this kind of shtick about him where he’s outspoken, but with that, comes room for being criticized by the media. That’s our jobs. And what he’s upset at me for is for something that I said a few weeks ago on the show that when he was getting turned down from Under Armour, Nike and Adidas for these partnerships, I said, ‘If he wants to think like a mogul and work with these companies, he has to look at what they do.’ And that’s they market to women. Women are the people buying their sons’ shoes. They make up more than half of sales for these types of brands. So, he has to think like that if he wants to be this big mogul.
“So he was upset at me for what I said there, and that’s completely fine. But you can’t come at me and disrespect me and not look me in the eye and threaten me. That’s just not okay.”
There seems to be some backstory here. In March, Leahy accused Ball of being overly controlling of his sons and said one of them, future NBA lottery pick Lonzo Ball, “looks terrified” to speak in front of the cameras.
watch this video if you want to see the entire story behind the Lavar Ball interview today pic.twitter.com/O3UOx1gjuL
— #BandWagonPolice (@KiaBandwagon) May 17, 2017
Whether that was unfair of Leahy to say about a 19-year-old is debatable, but it doesn’t at all excuse the way LaVar Ball talked to her on Wednesday.