LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball are officially ensconced in Lithuania, and their father, LaVar, is busy doing what he does best—stirring up controversy with his trademark provocative statements. His latest target is Charles Barkley, with whom he has previously sparred in the past.
In a January 5 interview with Sports Illustrated's Jared Zwerling, the Big Baller patriarch had some cutting words about the former NBA MVP and current TNT analyst.
When asked about his public image, Ball didn't hold back when delving in to his beef with Barkely. “Like Charles Barkley, he's been talking crazy. 'LaVar is a bad father, this and that.' And I'm just, like, don't even talk about Gelo going to China because you've been in jail in Arizona. You have kids that you don't even talk about. You have a daughter nobody knows about,” Lavar said.
In March 2009, Barkley did serve a three-day jail sentence in Phoenix stemming from a drunk driving charge, though Ball's claim about a secret daughter is much harder to confirm or deny.
Barkley has been a harsh critic of Ball in the past. He challenged LaVar, who played at Washington State and averaged 2.2 points and 2.3 rebounds, to a game of one-on-one. Barkley later responded to Ball's decision to send his two youngest sons to play professionally for Lithuania's Prienu Vytautas. Ball's eldest, Lonzo, is the Los Angeles Lakers' starting point guard and was the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA draft.
“He represents everything that's bad about sports,” Barkley told ESPN. “You know, I just feel bad for those kids because everybody talks about, 'He might be a good father,' this and that. No, he's not. He's just exploiting his kids.”
Both Ball and Barkley have had their share of defenders and detractors on social media.
Ball recently claimed all three of his sons will be Los Angeles Lakers by 2020, but whether that happens or not he'll surely find a way to stay in the news by jawing at the league's media class.
More from Complex