2017. The summer of the Fight Game. End of the month you got Jon “Bones” Jones vs. Daniel Cormier II. End of next month its Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor Freaking McGregor. And in the middle of September to wrap it: Canelo Alvarez vs. Triple G (Gennady Golovkin).
But zon’t sleep on Joel Embiid vs. Lavar Ball. Because as much as I want to look away from anything Ball Family-related that isn’t all about Lonzo—this fight, three rounds in, is pretty lit. And yesterday, Embiid cracked Lavar with a haymaker. The haymaker heard ‘round the internet.
But before we get there—let’s go back for context. This all started on draft night last month when Zo went number two overall to the Lakers and instead of clapping in the background and hugging on his kid like any normal, rational parent would—the old man ran to every camera he could find on set and made the whole night about himself. And quick one check of Twitter turned up a Ben Simmons tweet who just simply thumbed up this thinly veiled subtweet on LaVar: “Crazy Pills.”
Simmons’ tag team partner, Joel Embiid jumped in, retweeted his boy, and hit him with his own take: “Please dunk of him so hard that his daddy runs on the court to save him.”
Embiid’s tweet was so fire it finally peaked out at 53,000 re-pops a week or so later.
That alone should have finally put a stop to LaVar’s gum bumping. Because it took Lonzo turning pro all of two minutes before current NBA’ers were headhunting. All the speculation on if pops had tattooed a target on his kid’s back proved true before Zo could even finish his first post-draft interview.
But it didn’t stop the old man. Of course not. The kook found a Philly radio station last week to go run smack on Embiid and Simmons. Look, I’m furthest thing from Team LaVar. I’ve made that clear on this show about a hundred times. And I’m probably the only host in America that never put this guy on. He’s never been a guest and he’s rarely ever a topic. But—and I hate to say it—even a busted up clock with yellow Chiclets is right twice a day. And LaVar didn’t miss when he told 95.7 in Philly: “When you don’t win, and don’t even make the playoffs, and don’t even stay on the court long enough, that’s the best thing you can do—is tweet some stuff. Ain’t nobody else doing that, because they’re working on their games in the gym. These guys ain’t played a game, [are] always hurt, and [are] at the bottom of the totem pole. So guess what? Get your [rear ends] off the god*** Tweeter and get in the gym.”
Get off the Tweeter, boys. Stop Twittering. Hate to say it—really hate to say it—but that’s a 10-8 second round for the old man. Embiid has been in the league three seasons already and has only played in 31 games. Ben Simmons missed his entire rookie season last year. These guys haven’t been on the floor. And in the three years Embiid has been in the league, the 76’ers have been a bottom three team in the East in each of them. So LaVar seasoned these dudes with facts, threw ‘em on the grill, and cooked ‘em up well done—in their own backyard.
And up until yesterday—that was last word. That was the last word—until Joel Embiid popped on Instagram Live video yesterday and dropped three words that have been on the tip of half world’s tongue for months now. And no it wasn’t “Trust the process.”
Check out this Gram Live video from yesterday. Embiid is walking with a buddy—talking questions from live commenters—when someone asked him about LaVar Ball.
Hey Jazz Fan. That’s how you do it. That ain’t no “b-word” smack. That’s the granddaddy of them all them. There’s no confusing that or getting it twisting. That’s a four letter bomb dropped right on Chino Hills. Eff. Lavar. Ball.
And you can tell by Embiid’s tone—he ain’t playin.
That’s a guy who’s had enough. He doesn’t want this fly buzzing around his dome anymore. So he’s ending it. Right here. Right now. On Instagram Live for the entire world to hear.
I’d call it a knockout, but we all know it’s not. We all know the old man is just gonna spit out his yellow teeth and get right back in the fight.
And that’s the problem. Because as entertaining as this fight is—it’s a fight that shouldn’t even be happening. Because no parent should be ripping their kids spotlight and then running junk on his kids peers on local radio stations. This isn’t LaVar’s fight. It’s not his fight—and even worse—he made it Lonzo’s. The kid didn’t ask for this. But he’s gonna have to line it up against a league full of Embiid’s who want nothing more than to get to the dad by punishing the kid.
Getting to the NBA is hard enough. Balling out when half the league wants to destroy you for crap your dad says is making it way harder than it should be. Because when the 6’ers and Lakers line it up this year—it’s Lonzo in a gamer—not LaVar. And it’s Lonzo whose game is gonna have to cash check’s his dad’s gap keeps scratching.
And if goes sideways for the kid–it won’t be long before he’s the one dropping that three word blast on his dad.