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LaVar Ball’s Comments Blaming White UCLA Players’ ‘Too Slow’ Footwork Ruffles Feathers

LaVar Ball previously made headlines for proclaiming is son is better than Steph Curry. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images)

Outspoken basketball dad LaVar Ball has divided the public over why he thinks the UCLA Bruins lost in the NCAA Tournament to Kentucky in March: White players simply aren’t quick enough.

Ball seemed to blame UCLA’s 86-75 loss to the Kentucky Wildcats in the Sweet 16 Friday, March 24 on TJ Leaf, Bryce Alford and Thomas Welsh — three white starters for the Bruins.

“Realistically, you can’t win no championship with three white guys because the foot speed is too slow,” LaVar Ball, a former World League of American Football player who is the father of senior UCLA guard Lonzo Ball, told the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin Thursday, April 6, “I told Lonzo, ‘One of these games you might need to go for 30 or 40 points.’ It turned out that was the one game. Then once they get to the Elite 8, they’re right there.”

Leaf, Alford, and Welsh combined for 39 points as Lonzo Ball wrapped his college basketball career with 10 points, all while opposing Kentucky guard De’Aaron Fox racked up 39 points.

LaVar Ball had predicted the Bruins would win the game.

“People thought [Lonzo Ball] was giving up, but he popped his hamstring,” LaVar Ball said. “He said, ‘I was trying to run, but my hamstring was pulled.’ But he’s never going to make excuses.”

Social media users were particularly upset by LaVar Ball’s comments about the white players.

Others defended his remarks and made fun of the uproar that mostly came from white fans.

SportsCenter’s Jemele Hill didn’t agree with Lavar Ball, but she slammed the rush of others to get comments from Black people on the matter.

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