Most Americans will recognize one of the faces above. Those of us who incessantly follow sports knows know both.
That's LeBron James on the left. Everyone knows that. On the right is Lavar Ball, the father of UCLA's star point guard Lonzo Ball, who's enjoying his moment in the sun thanks to his son's success and his inability to shut up.
Ball has, for reasons unclear, started a bit of a beef with LeBron James and he used an appearance on ESPN's "First Take" this week to escalate it to a place where he now appears to be challenging James to a fight.
To fully understand this, you have to go back a few days to Ball's first comments about LeBron. Ball was a guest on Chris Broussard's podcast and talking about the chances of NBA success for his sons (he has two younger boys who will also, in all likelihood, play at UCLA). He thinks the chances are good. But then he got into trouble by talking about the chances of success for the children of NBA legends.
"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."
That set off LeBron. He wasn't upset about Ball's take on the future of his two sons. He was upset that this stranger was talking about his sons at all. "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."
That leads us back to Ball's appearance on "First Take," where he thought it wise to warn LeBron that "he’s talking to the wrong dude" and then told him to "come do something."
Honestly, LeBron shouldn't even respond to this. He made his displeasure with Ball known and any more attention will just be giving him what he wants—attention. LeBron beefing with Ball is like a lion beefing with a grasshopper. It's just unfair, and even if you'd love to see that grasshopper get stepped on, the lion shouldn't punch that far down.