LaVar Ball joined ESPN’s First Take recently to discuss the blockbuster Anthony Davis trade that involved his son, Lonzo Ball. He faced public backlash because of an exchange in which he made moderator Molly Qerim visibly uncomfortable. In an attempt to get the group back on task, Qerim asked “Lavar, can I switch gears with you? [because] I have a question.”
“You can switch gears with me anytime,” Ball responded.
Ball claims Qerim misconstrued his statement, stating “her mind [was] in the gutter if she’s thinking something else.”
This was not the first time that Ball has had a controversial exchange with a show host, going back to his 2017 interaction with Kristine Leahy on The Herd.
Many people took to Twitter to express their opinion about the exchange, with thousands of people taking either side.
Kudos to Molly Querim for the professional way she handled LaVar Ball after his inappropriate comment. Maybe ESPN will have finally learned its lesson about putting him on TV.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) June 17, 2019
“LaVar Ball’s comment to Molly Qerim Rose was completely inappropriate and we made him aware of that,” an ESPN spokesperson said.
After much speculation on social media that Ball could or should be banned, another ESPN spokesperson confirmed that the network has no desire to include Ball in any of their programming at least for the near future.
“How I’mma be banned, and I don’t work for them?” Ball said, “I [have] my own show.”
Inside the NBA analyst, Charles Barkley shared his distaste for Ball’s seemingly reckless behavior in the wake of this new controversy.
When asked by TMZ about Ball’s involvement in the career of his sons, Barkley responded, “Wherever LaVar Ball is, there’s a village missing an idiot…We should just keep LaVar off television. That would be the best way to be.”
LaVar Ball is the father of newly acquired pelicans Point Guard Lonzo ball, and Lamelo Ball, who is scheduled to play overseas for the Illawarra Hawks