LaVar Ball found a way to earn even more heat when he pulled his AAU team off of the floor after what he deemed to be cheating by officials. In a game his team was winning. Naturally, that decision has earned some backlash. One man not happy with Ball’s actions is former NBA player and Duke star, Jay Williams.
— Jay Williams (@RealJayWilliams) July 24, 2017
Williams’ criticism is on point.
You can’t teach kids that it’s okay to just throw a fit and walk off of the court when things get tough. If these kids are going to play in college and beyond, they’re going to deal with bad officiating on occasion. They need to learn how to deal with that.
One Devil’s Advocate point to make here is that Williams may be over-romanticizing AAU. At its foundational core, he’s right.
But AAU has morphed into an opportunity for kids to show individual skills off to college scouts. The teaching of the ideals of sports has become secondary far too often. Ball’s actions definitely contribute to tha,t but in reality, it’s been going on since long before anyone knew who Ball or any of his sons are.
Really, even if we take that cynical view of AAU, Ball’s actions were out of bounds.
By pulling his team off of the court, Ball robbed those players of game time that could have been used to develop personal highlight films. No every AAU player has a full scholarship to a school like UCLA lined up already. Some are still trying to find that.
Ball’s actions indicate that he wasn’t really thinking of them when he pulled the team off of the floor. If he was, then he would have at least bitten the bullet with the refs and given those players more time to shine.