LaVar Ball’s outrageous personality might not be just an act for television. In fact, the father of top recruits LiAngelo and LaMelo and NBA lottery-bound Lonzo actually intimidated the head coach of the high school team his two youngest sons play for.
According to For the Win, LaVar took on a role of his own this past season, disrupting chemistry for the Chino Hills High School basketball team, its head coach Stephan Gilling, and Ball’s his two high school sons.
At halftime of a game in which Chino Hills trailed by 12 at the half, Gilling told his team to stop trapping. LaVar shouted from the stands to do the opposite, and the players listened to him before Gilling was able to regain control of his own team.
Chino Hills came back to win the game by eight, and Gilling told FTW that LaVar had words for him afterwards.
“He comes to me and says, ‘What are you doing? What are you doing?’ I said, ‘What do you mean? I’m trying to win the game.’
Then LaVar walked into the locker room despite Gilling telling him not to.
In a hotel room after one of the teams’ games, an assistant coach told Gilling that he heard LaVar pumping the team up.
“I guess he got them out of their rooms on the 18th floor and tells the team that it was his system that won,” Gilling told FTW. “That we’re doing what he says. ‘I run Chino Hills! I run UCLA, about to run the NBA!’”
Gilling went on to talk about LaVar’s consistent efforts to undermine him despite what had been a good relationship. Gilling was an assistant coach before stepping in as head coach for his first season this year and knew the Ball family well.
Gilling also noticed the impact it had on LiAngelo, a graduating senior, and LaMelo, a sophomore who scored 92 points in a game.
“Throughout the rest of the year, we had games that I would not talk to [LaMelo and LiAngelo],” Gilling said. “They understood and knew they were caught in the middle of it all. It was sad for the kids because it was from that point on that they didn’t know who to listen to.
“It was also noticeable that things were being said at home, and brought back to the gym in a way of, like, they’re not listening to the coaches.”
These are concerning issues for NBA teams that Lonzo, who has already had to answer questions about his father, will have to answer more of. His father has already found more air-time than his superstar son, appearing on First Take and countless other TV and radio spots.
He’s already said his son is better than two-time MVP Steph Curry, started a beef with LeBron James, stated he could beat Michael Jordan one-on-one, went after Charles Barkley, stated that his son will only play for the Lakers, and guaranteed UCLA will win the National Championship.
It feels like decades, but LaVar and his sons has only seen the national spotlight for all of a few months.