'Ball in the Family' Review: LaVar Ball Says LaMelo Will Be Better Than Brothers

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2017

LaVar Ball, father of Los Angeles Lakers' Lonzo Ball, watches the Lakers play the Los Angeles Clippers during the second half of an NBA summer league basketball game, Friday, July 7, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

The many sides of LaVar Ball were on full display during the fifth episode of Ball in the Family, which aired on the show's Facebook page Sunday night.

On one hand, the caring and involved father figure who puts his family first was apparent, especially when he was talking about his son, LaMelo, and wife, Tina, in one-on-one situations. However, the opinionated and attention-grabbing Ball was also there for viewers, especially when the AAU team he coaches lost after staying up too late the previous night.

Sunday's episode started with LaVar coaching LaMelo's AAU team, and he was not afraid to let the refs or anyone in the gym know how he was feeling in his recognizable style. He even had a back-and-forth exchange with a fan and said of LaMelo, "He's better than a prodigy, he's a Ball-ologist."

The passion on the court turned into a gentleness when he was with Tina during her return to the gym as a spectator after she had a stroke.

"This is a huge part of Tina's rehab," he said. "Refreshing her memory and bringing her back to us even quicker."

The loving relationship between the patriarch and matriarch of basketball's first family was a major theme of Sunday's episode, and LaVar credited Tina's presence for a 101-94 victory in the AAU tournament. LaMelo himself even talked about how hard he was playing with his mother in the stands.

However, the good times at the tournament faded quickly when LaMelo and his friends enjoyed a late night of NBA 2K and free food at Taco Bell after the server recognized the 16-year-old.

The sluggishness was apparent in the next game, as the Balls lost in blowout fashion. LaMelo admitted, "I feel responsible, I know I have to step up and be the leader," but that didn't stop LaVar from calling him out in front of the rest of the team.

LaVar explained he treats LaMelo like a grown man so he can hang with his brothers in the gym and turned heads when he said, "In the long run, I guarantee you he'll be the best one."

It was quite the statement considering Lonzo Ball led the UCLA Bruins to the Sweet 16 and was the No. 2 overall pick of the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA draft. NBA teams better start paying attention if LaMelo is going to internalize all of LaVar's coaching and eventually become even better than his professional brother.

While Lonzo wasn't featured in Sunday's episode, LiAngelo Ball made an appearance while on a date with his girlfriend, Izzy. Izzy wasn't afraid to tease him for ordering the same food everywhere, but it was notable when he said life in college was "boring" because he doesn't get to see his brothers every day.

"I just wish I could do more stuff with my family" the UCLA freshman explained.

While it's certainly not the same as spending time with them in person, LiAngelo can take solace knowing his family will probably be readily available through the media and Ball in the Family playbacks for years to come.

Especially if LaMelo joins his brother in the NBA.