The father of UCLA Bruins star freshman guard Lonzo Ball, LaVar, has made national headlines with plenty of boastful comments about his son and himself throughout the past college basketball season. Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, who has had some back and forth with the elder Ball, joined The Jim Rome Show on Tuesday and reacted to LaVar’s most recent claim that he’d kill Michael Jordan one-on-one in his prime.
“[LaVar Ball] went at me a couple weeks ago, and he said I never won a championship, and then I said one of my sarcastic statements was maybe I missed the Ball era, maybe he won a bunch of championships,” Barkley said. “And then somebody told me dude averaged 2 points a game in college, and I just started laughing. I said there’s no need for me to expand. It’s like I said, I never won a championship, but I’m pretty sure I averaged more than 2 points a game.
“The kid’s [Lonzo Ball] a hell of a player. I wish him nothing but the best. I wish his father would let him shine, though. Just let the kid shine. That kid might be the number one pick in the draft. I think he’s a stud, seems like a nice kid. Listen man, but stop taking the shine away from your kid. It’s his time, you had your time and you exploded for six points probably one time, maybe. If you average two, I wonder what his career high was, he’s averaged two your career high can’t be that big.”
Barkley, who will work the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament for Turner Sports, also shared some advice for college basketball’s most polarizing player who just so happens to play on possibly the nation’s hottest team, Duke Blue Devils guard Grayson Allen. Allen has made national headlines all season with his temperament, so Barkley weighed in.
“Just play basketball,” Barkley said. “Listen, some of the greatest players ever, myself, Dennis Rodman, Gary Payton, we’ve all done stupid stuff that we were able to overcome and keep going forward. I mean, so you’re going to make some mistakes and do some stupid stuff, but man you know what you got to do you just keep playing basketball.
“First of all, you never want to try to intentionally try to hurt anybody. Like, I don’t think Draymond Green is trying to hurt people out there. He’s kicking people, I think he’s trying to get some contact going, but I don’t think he’s deliberately trying to hurt anybody. He’s a good player, but I’d just tell Grayson, man, just keep playing, and the best way to get people off your back is to kick butt.”