There is an old adage in sports media that says, “You have to tell stories to get stories.” Yesterday, Armchair found that out in a rather interesting way.

On March 15, I ran an article titled: Lavar Ball: The epitome of what is wrong with modern sports. It touched on helicopter parenting and the monetization of potentially profitable children. Without commenting on upbringing tactics, I attempted to delve into Lavar Ball’s seemingly unnecessary promotion of his own sons for his personal benefit.

About an hour after the article was run, I received a comment on it from a member of the Ball family, who wishes to remain anonymous. The comment (which has since been removed to protect the email address and identity of the commenter) read as follows:

-“Wow. You nailed it. Although you don’t even know the half of it. Lavar took over the high school program, added the Coach, his puppet (which is why he quit last year after becoming the national coach of the year) and Lavar stepped on and crushed countless other kids’ careers and love for the game to get his kids on the court. If you are allowed to shoot at any time from any where and never come out of the game, any decent idiot could score 30 points.

Also, Tina Ball, his wife had a stroke on Feb 21. She had life threatening skull surgery to relieve brain pressure – guess where Lavar was during the operation that could have killed his wife? – at the CHHS vs. LB Poly game with his sons, including Lonzo. He still has not allowed his kids to see their sick mother due to the media attention it would bring to him, and cause BBB sales to diminish. [Name of hospital] in [City of hospital], CA – Tina is there now and he only visits for 1 hour a few days a week, while her Mother has yet to leave her side. Pathetic!!!”

I was a bit skeptical when I initially viewed the comment. I figured that it was someone attempting to drive a smear campaign against the Ball family, seeing how Lavar was such a polarizing figure. But, the information was oddly specific.

After a bit of deliberation, I contacted the email address listed with the comment. They confirmed through multiple email and social media confirmations that they were, in fact, a close relative of Lavar and Tina Ball. I also spoke with the hospital listed in the email. The hospital confirmed that Tina Ball was checked in as of 12:30PM EST on March 15.

Tina, who was very active on Twitter, stopped communication on February 19, which fits in to the timeline provided below by a member of the Ball family.

When confirming the identity of the member of the Ball family that commented via email, we received another large piece of harrowing information:

“Notice, she is not at any games, she is not at work, and she is not at home. Someone needs to ask the question, where is Tina? She is severely disabled and paralyzed on right side. Cannot talk and is questionable about her comprehension. Left side of her brain impacted with massive stroke, while at home on Feb. 21 (school holiday – President’s day). Tina is a PE teacher in [City of school],CA [Name of school].
Feb. 20: Tina Ball admitted at [Name of first hospital] ICU
Feb. 21: Surgery to remove a portion of her skull to reduce swelling from the stroke (evening)
Feb 21: Chino Hills vs LB Poly @ Cerritos College – evening  game (same time as surgery) Lavar & Lonzo at the game with the other Ball boys – missed the surgery and post op. Did not come to hospital during or after surgery. 
The Ball boys are not allowed to see their mother, Lavar is afraid it will take away from their game(s). Lonzo had big game at ASU and U of A later that week. Also, media buzz would take away from all the interviews and media touring for Lavar + BBB brand would suffer. It literally is bigger than Tina’s life, as evidenced by Lavar’s approach.
As a family member, I am embarrassed and feel so sorry for Tina, since Lavar is on a media tour, he visits her rarely, while her mother has stayed by her side continuously.”

The crux of the original story was rooted in that fact that Lavar Ball’s priorities were self-motivated and not for the betterment of a “family brand.” After hearing the explicit details given to us, if these allegations are true – it only confirms one thing for Lavar Ball: money and fame are king.

If family comes first, kids should be with their mother, not with their basketball teams in times of tragedy.

At the end of the day, when the lights go out in the gym, the trophies collect dust, and the championship seasons begin to run together – it’s not basketball, cars, or shoes that stands the test of time. It’s family.

We wish the Ball family nothing but the best as they deal with these tumultuous circumstances.

We will follow this story as it progresses.

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Chief Executive Officer , The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I live by four simple rules: 1. If you don’t own Crocs or a robe, you are denying yourself basic comfort. 2. Each and every person has a societal responsibility to refrain from making a social media account for their pet. 3. Never travel with more drugs than you’re prepared to eat. 4. Ball security is job security. | As a Saints, Pelicans, Cubs, and Georgia Bulldogs supporter, the future is seemingly the only place I find success. Chances are, I dislike your team.
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Chief Executive Officer , The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I live by four simple rules: 1. If you don’t own Crocs or a robe, you are denying yourself basic comfort. 2. Each and every person has a societal responsibility to refrain from making a social media account for their pet. 3. Never travel with more drugs than you’re prepared to eat. 4. Ball security is job security. | As a Saints, Pelicans, Cubs, and Georgia Bulldogs supporter, the future is seemingly the only place I find success. Chances are, I dislike your team.

42 COMMENTS

    • They did an interview WEEKS ago and it aired today. You seem to try and imply that this is a “made up” story because their mother was interviewed with them, thats not the case. Think about it, you would’ve seen their mother at the highschool game or at Lonzo’s most recent game. As I would with anyone else, I’m hoping their mother recovers.Prayers.

  1. Everyone deals with things in a different way. Did you ever think the stress is causing this dad to go off the rails a little? Your reporting and of personal emails from alleged family members only makes things worse for all including the patient in the hospital. How horrible that you report on someone’s personal medical conditions. You don’t know the history of the family’s dynamics. Maybe the patient and her mom told the boys they want them to finish the season? And how does this family member know dates and times of visitors? In any case, these are not the first people to push forward during times of adversity. Your report strips away opportunities this family has to deal with their grief and tragedy with some sense of dignity. The dad has seem to lose it a little with the media more than ever. Probably due to his suifferering and not just the braggart is portrays himself as being. Everyone has a breaking point.

  2. Uhhh…hospitals are not allowed to release patient information. That’s part of the HIPAA regulation. Even something as simple as confirming the admittance of a patient. That’s the law. I’m a little iffy about this…

    • Thats not true! I worked as a Pbx operator for a hospital and we were allowed to give out the room number also my mom has been in and out of the hospitals. only info given is room # unless special request from the family or a suspect shot its listed as “John doe”. YOU’RE correct that no personal medical information can be released to just anyone.

  3. What are these kids slaves? If they wanted to be with her they would be! While we have no clue of this family to blame the father is inane to the extreme on some unknown hidden source!

  4. You think Tina wants her boys giving up everything she’s worked for…the brand was her idea…shes a baller too…seeing her like that would stop everything..lavar knows what’s up…even Lonzo like that’s a family thing which it is…not the fucking evil as media asking everyday not cause they care but for a story…naw y’all don’t get this one leach ass people….Tina like you better not let them see me like this…you hear me!!!!…thats real fuckin love…yall grow up…

    • Then they’ve been raised to be selfish….money comes and goes …family is forever. That’s their Mom not some distant Aunt they barely know! Your right she sacrificed everything for them and now that she needs them they’re busy or can’t be distracted? FOH! THAT’S THEIR MOTHER!!!!!!!

  5. There was a TV interview where LaVar said he married her because she was athletic, pretty and he needed three boys. On on each side of the court and one who played up the middle. He is a POS.

  6. I totally believe that this father is going to ruin his kids the way Todd Maravich’s Dad did to him. The guy thinks his sons are better than Jordan,Lebron, and Westbrook- any NBA team who signs this kid is going to regret it. I see busy written all over him!!

    • You’re sick, Lonzo carried UCLA to sweet 16 as a freshman and he’s getting drafted in the first round in this years draft, don’t talk as if they can’t live up to what Westbrook, Lebron or Jordan can do! This is a dad who wants his sons better than he ever was, and Lavar wasn’t that good, so they have a exponentially greater chance at success, there’s three of them! I’ll give it to you that Lavar Ball is pretty haughty and his praise for his sons may get a bit out of hand, but you don’t know that family, their mother could’ve given her boys the blessing to work hard and chase their dreams, not being in a hospital Watching her potentially die! I know I have family members that would do this personally. Moreover, everyone wants to say nothing or ridicule one when a black father isn’t there, but when he is and he loves and believes in his sons everyone has a problem with it! Smh

  7. I wouldn’t want my kids seeing their mother like that either regardless if they were playing or not. That will mess with any children’s head. It may be the case of a family member salty and hating on the sucess they are having.

  8. Let’s be clear, this journalist is not the first person to mention the stroke. Lonzo has been asked twice after his most recent games.His reply was “no comment”, as opposed to “WTF are you talking about?”. To me, that confirmed it. As for his father, I still don’t know what to make of him. I think about Richard Williams and how people hated him for doing the same thing. My only hope is that he is more Richard Williams than Marv Marinovich.

  9. This is complete BS – she was at their HS game on Tuesday in which Bishop Montgomery (Go Knights!) knocked them out of state tournament. She behaved normally, was fully mobile and vocal – if there even was a stroke, was a TIA w/ no residual. – MD at the game on Tuesday

  10. Stupid, unsubstantiated, b.s grab for likes and views!! Lonzo has been nothing but a class act and for you to attack his family is shameless

  11. Mr 2 points a game @ Washington State. Yet he can beat Michael Jordan one on one. Plus if Charles Barkley had his attitude , he would have won a tittle. Well ball boy you have the attitude what have you Won? Leva Ball is so much better than two hall of famers with gold metals no less. Why doesn’t he fight Mayweather? Your son made UCLA better? So Leaf, Welch, Hamilton and Alford had nothing to do with it?

  12. I can’t believe you would run this story, even if any of the things you say are true. It only serves to provide you with the notoriety that you claim Lavar Ball seeks. You should be ashamed of yourself for putting yourself in front of Tina Lavar and their kids… think twice before you print this type conjecture. This is truly why many dislike and distrust the media. ” you’re sick”.

  13. Nasty writer. Nasty story. Bet that “person” is the dad who posted it on another site a few weeks ago who had an axe to grind with Lavar and the way he coached against his son’s travel team when the kids were younger. If this were so true why is no legit media running with it. Respect the family and butt out. Shame on you.

  14. @andrewstephens keep writing these kinds of stories and verifying your sources. What the family member reported as “not even the half of it” is true. Stories abound about Lavar Ball and his actions, and those of us with kids who have played with and against the Ball-controlled AAU and Chino Hills High School teams over the years have watched first hand how he handles himself and his kids. It is truly shameful and embarrassing, and definitely no credit to the sport of basketball. Grassroots basketball has gotten worse, not better, in the years since George Dohrmann’s amazing expose book “Play Their Hearts Out” was published. I give a copy of that book to every parent who has a son who plays youth basketball. From the “coaches”, the “handlers”, the clueless but hopeful parents, the hangers-on, and the self-appointed “talking heads” who constantly hype these kids on social media – the whole grassroots system is dysfunctional and sad from the bottom up. And it stays that way from kiddie ball all the way to the NBA. As pathetic as the “Play Their Hearts Out” story was however, the Lavar Ball story may rival and even outdo it. Here’s hoping a good investigative journalist is given a budget to go talk to all the many folks in Southern California who have had to deal with or watch Lavar Ball and his shenanigans over the years. There are probably hundreds of us!

  15. It’s incredible,

    cause just yesterday I was thinking, “Why hasn’t LaVar Ball told reporters what his wife’s illness was?” I mean, he tells reporters everything. His wife was in such bad shape that he even missed Lonzo’s NCAA Tournament game against Kentucky, which was probably the biggest sporting event ever for any member of the Ball household.

    Yet, LaVar would not say what his wife’s illness or injury was. I was trying to think of why he was being silent on that matter. I mean, if his wife was ill or hurt, for him to reveal it could only bring sympathy towards the family, right?

    And I decided that, this guy probably wasn’t saying anything about his wife because it would be a “downer,” and might jeopardize his plans to have a TV reality show for his family. No one gets a reality TV show if the show is going to be gloomy in each episode, which it might be if one of the family members were seriously ill or about to die. TV networks want reality shows that show lavish, cheerful family life.

    So, I think this LaVar Ball cares more about his possible TV reality show than his wife’s life.

  16. Why don’t you just stick to reporting about football? Why are you attacking this family? Honestly, who even are you? Your being hypocrite if you say nobody wants fame in life, that’s probably why you wrote this article in the first place. For all we know you could have made this source up.

  17. Is this for real? Then I read something that the father has a 3 year deal with his son’s dating the Kardashians. What is this world coming to? That’s rhetorical! I can’t believe people actually watch this junk. Well, I guess I can’t say much because I just stooped to that level by making a comment. I seriously hope that one day society will go back to giving people who actually deserve the noteriety that they deserve. Not these people who have fake lips, asses, and so on and so on. Do they really not look in the mirror and say wow non of this matches what SHOULD GO WITH MY BODY! When someone looks at you and all they see is LIPS, it’s because they don’t belong on your face. When someone looks at you from behind and all they see is ASS with tiny legs, it’s because it doesn’t belong. IT LOOKS RIDICULOUS!!!

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