Kevin Durant believes LaVar Ball’s grilling of LaMelo is a show of passion
The word “surrender” is quite the taboo term in the sport of basketball. Nobody wants to be criticized for giving up on any situation, and yet that’s exactly what LaVar Ball did.
Ball, whose son LaMelo is the star player of his Big Ballers AAU squad, decided to forfeit from a crucial playoff game this past weekend despite his son’s team being up by nine points because he deemed the referees were cheating. Naturally, the loud-mouthed patriarch of the most famous family in professional basketball received some heat for his actions, particularly from ESPN analyst Jay Williams.
Williams shared a video on Twitter with him sending a message to Ball about how quitting is not an option for young players to embrace:
— Jay Williams (@RealJayWilliams) July 24, 2017
While Williams does make a strong and logical point, there was bound to be some detractors toward his public advisory-like statement. Little would the Twitterverse know that it would be reigning Finals MVP Kevin Durant who’d be one of the first to defend Ball’s actions with this reply on Williams’ tweet:
jay u kno all of us as youngins growing up had coaches that would spazz out every once and a while. It taught us passion
To be clear, Durant didn’t perpetuate Ball’s forfeiture. Instead, the eight-time All-Star commended Ball’s own passion for the game, recalling his days playing for similar coaches who had short fuses but were just as driven and dedicated to their craft.
On a related incident, Durant also praised LaVar for going ham on LaMelo during another viral video showing LaVar’s tough love towards his youngest son:
that video of him coachin up that young Melo after the game was incredible. I kno a lot of my friends had coaches like him
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) July 24, 2017
Ball’s unorthodox means of teaching kids how to succeed in basketball can be perceived as ill-advised or even egocentric. However, players like Durant see the other side of the coin to Ball’s approach. Again, KD must’ve had a mentor or two akin to LaVar, and it certainly didn’t hamper his chances of becoming a real NBA superstar.
If anything, such harsh words only made Durant’s will to succeed even stronger. And with that, perhaps today’s youth might actually learn a lot more from Ball’s teachings other than it’s not fun getting grilled by a man who averaged just a little over two points per game in his lone season of college basketball play.