LaVar Ball said that UCLA coach Steve Alford and his staff should bear some responsibility for what happened to LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill in China.
During an interview on New Day at CNN, he said college coaches are paid well so “they’ve gotta hold some accountability.”
Alford is earning about $2.6 million per year after signing a seven-year contract worth $18.2 million with UCLA in 2013. He also received $200,000 signing bonus.
The 50-year-old has criticized the UCLA basketball program for playing the three freshmen on indefinite suspension while an investigation is ongoing to determine the type of punishment they deserve.
The three freshmen were arrested and detained for reportedly shoplifting luxury sunglasses from a high-end boutique in China. Ball said that single mistake shouldn’t hound the three players all their lives.
He said taking away the chance to play basketball due to the suspension is “worse than jail.”
It’s not like we’re going through life without making mistakes. … China already forgave the boys,” he said. “You already sent a message. They already apologized. What’s the big deal?”
Previously, Ball announced that he’s pulling out LiAngelo out of the UCLA to consider other options. He also said that he can train his son to be ready for the NBA better than the school ever could. However, basketball analysts and draft boards are not high on the middle child making it to the NBA compared to Lonzo Ball and LaMelo Ball.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that LaVar Ball would be hard-pressed to find any NBA team that will draft LiAngelo. A general manager told the NBA beat columnist that the 19-year-old is “not on any of our scouting lists — even the extended lists.”
Speaking of LaMelo, LaVar Ball said that the situation with LiAngelo doesn’t factor into their intention to send their youngest to UCLA.