When I was a kid there was one thing I wished Santa Claus brought me for Christmas every year. It wasn’t a new video game, not a new bike, not the latest action figure, it wasn’t any of that. Every year I wished for my dad to come back to my life.
I used to think that if I was good all year my sperm donor would magically appear on our door step on Christmas Eve. I used to think that me getting straight A’s in school would make Santa proud and that he would Tweet my sperm donor to tell him to stop with his bullshit. As we all know that’s not how any of this works, as I grew older I was faced with the harsh reality that the man who fathered me didn’t give a fuck about me and my existence. To this day we still don’t speak.
He doesn’t know I’m moving to Los Angeles, he doesn’t know I’m about to embark on the biggest mission of my life in following my dreams. He doesn’t know anything about me.
That’s why when people talk bad about Lavar Ball and how he speaks so highly of his son I get a bit annoyed. It really rubs me the wrong way, it doesn’t matter if Lavar calls Lonzo the GOAT. That’s his son and that’s what he’s supposed to think of him. I would trade my right arm to have a father in my life-like Lavar. You may think I’m playing but I’m dead serious.
How do you think Lonzo learned to dribble a basketball? How do you think he learned how to shoot a jumper? How do you think he learned to read a defense and make the best basketball decision available for his team? He didn’t do that on his own, it was because of Lavar Ball. Lonzo has said it on multiple occasions that he would not be here if it wasn’t for Lavar pushing him day in and day out.
You may not like Lavar’s antics or his outlandish statements but you have to give him credit for being there for all three of his boys every single step of the way. Imagine having a dad that groomed you into a basketball superstar. Imagine having a dad who coached you so well that you made it to the University of California – Los Angeles. Imagine having a dad who believed in you so much that before you were old enough to legally drink he handed you not only a signature shoe, but your own signature brand. I tear up just thinking about the opportunities Lavar has presented for Lonzo. I tear up because Lavar did all that for his son, meanwhile, I used to get calls from my sperm donor on Friday night’s telling me to be ready in an hour and then he’d never show up. I can’t tell you how many times I packed a bag and fell asleep on our porch waiting for him to pull up and it never happened. I would wake up to my mom telling me to go inside our trailer home because it was getting late.
Your father is supposed to be your biggest fan. He’s supposed to be the loudest guy in the gym when you’re on the floor. You think Lavar Ball is crazy? Just wait until I have my first child, you’ll never get me to shut up about how great they are. That’s what parents are supposed to do. They’re not supposed to put limitations on their children, kids should be taught to reach for the stars.
I remember when I was in High School there were two brothers I played with whose names were Marlon and Malcolm Vincent. They were the best players at the school and it wasn’t even close. One time I asked the older brother Marlon how he and his brother got so good. The answer he gave me resonates with me to this day, “To be honest, it’s all because of my daddy. He would be at every game. He would tell us when where we messed up and he was tough on us, but he instilled something in us. He taught us that being second best is just the first loser.”
He told me that when I was 14 years old. 13 years and almost half my life later I finally get what he meant. You see, Marlon and Malcolm’s dad was at every game. He was the loudest person in the gym. He was their toughest critic, but never once did I question if he loved them or he wanted the best for them. He loved them and all of us like we were his own kids, just like Lavar and the kids in Chino Hills.
So, before we go around telling fathers to shut up and hide their excitement over their son’s success, lets pump the brakes a bit. We have men who father children and leave when times get hard like my sperm donor did. Give me 10 Lavar Ball’s over 10 dead beat men who bounced and left their seed to fend for themselves any day of the week.