Is Lavar Ball following in the footsteps of Earl Woods and Richard Williams? Or is he an over the top version of a parent’s ego gone wild trying to grab glory through their child?
The Williams and Woods kids were good, really good. Child prodigies. Each man had no problem letting you know it. What we really didn’t understand is how these men were grooming their children to dominate their sports of tennis and golf. Places were African Americans had few champions
Richard Williams was ridiculed when he told the world that his two daughters who he raised in Compton playing on rough public courts nearby, would become the best female tennis players in the world. He was one of the few not surprised when BOTH of his daughters took the tough lessons they learned on those rough city courts and used them to help them become queens of the tennis world. Each taking turns being the dominate player I the sport before Serena’s physical and mental strength would launch her assault on the record books and conversation of being the GOAT.
Earl Woods introduced to his son Tiger to the world at just 3 years old on the Merv Griffin show. Even at that age we saw his ability to take command of the moment with the help of his dad.
Later while he was still an amateur there were bold prediction of PGA Tour greatness was there before he had won a PGA tournament. The marketing hype was there too. Remember the ‘Hello World” press conference? He already had multiple endorsement deals in his pocket at time of arrival on the Tour much to the irritation of those who had labored for years already. We forget the bold statements of pride by Earl Woods because of his well-spoken demeanor and military background. Plus Tiger’s giant smile, and a confidence that grabbed you and made you a believer.
So is Lavar Ball really that much different than Williams and Woods? Maybe this whole way of acting is part of the plan. Ball knows like Richard Williams and Earl Woods that being great requires more mental toughness than physical talent. The ability to excel while under enormous pressure on the field/court, extreme scrutiny off it. The huge amount of money and power giving to those that excel in sports is mind boggling. Maybe Lavar Ball is showing his son how to deal with some of these things. In some ways he lso is acting as a shield for him. Much of the attention has been shifted to his father. No matter what happens now he wins in the public discourse. He doesn’t live up to hype? It’s because of his overbearing father. If he meets or exceeds expectations? Then he is applauded for being able to achieve this in spite of his crazy dad.
Lavar Ball may turn out to be crazy…like a fox
There must be something about Cali that produces these strong African American fathers who are brimming with confidence, and the ability teach their progeny to have it as well. All this while helping them to understand the additional challenges of doing this while being Black in America.
By Minister Jonathan Simmons