Like it or not, LaVar Ball's antics have an effect on NBA basketball. And now, in a swift choice of action by one of the league's own, those antics are starting to results in some serious consequences.
ESPN has become the first setting of those consequences, for ironically promoting (albeit, unintentionally) those antics themselves.
Since LaVar first opened his mouth, ESPN was the first to give him a platform, to which LaVar took no shame in using. And although the act of covering LaVar on a weekly basis is not necessarily wrong, they may have finally crossed the line by pushing and publishing a story to the detriment of a head coach by an over-enthusiastic NBA Father.
And while Steve Kerr, Rick Carlisle, and others have publicly ripped the network for their recent action, the most critical of all may be Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy, who's taking these public stands to new heights.
Coach Gundy has decided to boycott ESPN during a league-mandated meeting with the network's announcing crew prior to their nationally televised game against the Washington Wizards on Jan. 19 in addition to the requisite in-game interview with a sideline reporter in between quarters.
Via the Detroit Press:
“I’m not denying them access,” Van Gundy said of ESPN. “I’m not kicking them out of press conferences. They want extra stuff from us and they’re going to treat an NBA coach with that little respect? Then I’m going to choose not to give them extra access.”
Van Gundy has reportedly informed NBA execs of his plans, with some reports even saying that other coaches have indicated they will revoke credentials of basketball writers who interview LaVar. Judging by the recent outpour of action, a true war could be breaking out between the media world and the NBA, all for a guy who loves the spotlight a little too much.
LaVar brings the clicks, he brings the views to articles and stories just like this one (ironically) that the media world thrives on. But what are networks there for, if not to cover news most interesting to the fans that enjoy them? But how far is too far? How much is too much?
The sports world is quickly discovering that the silver lining in all of these questions is not necessarily as clear as we all might have thought.