Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Says LaVar Ball Is Bad for College Basketball

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 17, 2017

TORRANCE, CA - MARCH 14:  Lavar Ball is seen at the game between Chino Hills High School and Bishop Montgomery High School at El Camino College on March 14, 2017 in Torrance, California.  (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)
Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a UCLA legend and a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, believes outspoken parents like LaVar Ball are bad for college basketball because they create a "huckster show."

On Saturday, TMZ Sports passed along comments the three-time NCAA champion made during an appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic about the father of Lonzo Ball, who played one season with the Bruins and is currently a top prospect leading up to the 2017 NBA draft on June 22.

"Everybody knows about his sons because he has been able to hype them. But I don't think that's good for college basketball," Abdul-Jabbar said. "College basketball is starting to look like a...it doesn't look good. It looks like it's a huckster show. And that bothers me, you know. You have people going those lengths to promote their kids. I don't get it."

LaVar rose to prominence during the latter stages of the 2016-17 college basketball season by making a series of outrageous claims. They included telling USA Today's Josh Peter that he could beat Michael Jordan in a one-on-one game and suggesting to ESPN Lonzo was already better than two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry (h/t SI.com).

He's since found a way to keep himself in the spotlight, with no end in sight as the first of his three basketball-playing sons gets ready for the big stage.

Abdul-Jabbar also addressed the rule that allowed Lonzo to declare for the draft after playing a single season at UCLA, calling it "pretty pathetic," per TMZ Sports.

"One-and-dones doesn't make any sense to me," he said. "To have somebody come and be on campus for six months and play a basketball season, what is that? It's strange and it's not good for the college game, and it hasn't been good for the pro game. I think they better find a different way of dealing with those issues."

While the longtime Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks star might eventually see changes to the one-and-done format, he shouldn't expect LaVar Ball to fade away. LaVar told Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com he plans to stay at the forefront as his other sons, LiAngelo and LaMelo, move up the basketball ladder.

"I ain't stepping back to nothing. ... I don't step back," he said. "Why would I change?"

It's a declaration that will elicit a wide spectrum of responses depending on each person's view of LaVar, who's quickly become one of the most polarizing figures in sports.


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