LeBron James Angrily Responds to LaVar Ball’s Comments About His Kids

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Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James angrily responded on Tuesday to LaVar Ball’s controversial remarks last week about their respective families, taking issue with the fact that his sons were referenced in the explosive comments.

“Keep my kids’ name out of your mouth, keep my family out of your mouth,” James said. “This is dad to dad. It’s a problem now.”

Ball, the father of UCLA star Lonzo Ball as well as two other up-and-coming standout basketball players, last week compared his sons to those of James and former NBA players Dell Curry and Joe Bryant. Curry has two sons, including two-time MVP Stephen Curry, who’s currently playing for the Golden State Warriors, while Kobe Bryant recently finished up a 20-year career last season and is destined for the Hall of Fame.

“The monsters in the NBA, their dads wasn’t that good,” Ball said. “They were OK, they was players, but the fact that the old [Dell] Curry wasn’t no All-Star, he wasn’t cold. He could shoot the ball, though. Kobe Bryant, his dad wasn’t all that, that’s why he’s such a monster.

“You got LeBron, it’s going to be hard for his kids because they are going to look at them like, ‘You got to be just like your dad.’ And after a while, that pressure starts sitting on you like, ‘Why do I got to be just like him? What can’t I just be me?’ And then they are going to be like, ‘Aw, you’re soft, you’re not that good.’ Because the expectation is very, very high.”

James expressed admiration for the younger Ball’s basketball exploits, but again aimed criticism at the elder Ball:

“He can talk all about his brand, talk about his sons, talk about basketball, talk about me,” James told ESPN. “But keep my family out of this. I actually like his son. I like his game.”

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.