LeBron James and LaVar Ball Are Alike

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

It took LaVar Ball about two weeks to take his first shot at LeBron James since the three-time champ became his son’s Lakers teammate.

It’s likely the first of several barbs the two will direct at each other.

But they have at least one thing in common: They’ve both put unnecessary pressure on their offspring to achieve NBA stardom.

LaVar, by guaranteeing it publicly over and over. LeBron, by giving his oldest child his name.

It’s a decision LeBron regrets. But the newest Lakers superstar made it for an incredible reason almost 14 years ago.

“When I was younger, I didn’t have a dad,” he said on the debut episode of HBO’s “The Shop,” which won’t premiere until August 28, “so my whole thing was when I have a kid, not only is he gonna be a junior, I’m gonna do everything that this man didn’t do. They’re gonna experience things that I didn’t experience.”

Fair. Totally fair.

But LeBron’s drawn pressure to his son’s hoops career in other ways, like noting that it’s a dream of his to share an NBA court with Bronny, or comparing his son’s game to his.

Fortunately, LeBron’s made up for some potential undue pressure by being a supportive parent who’s apparently prepared LeBron James Jr. for the incoming attention.

Ask someone who’s been there: Shareef O’Neal.

LaVar, as annoying as he is, also clearly loves his children.

But while LeBron regrets passing his name down and occasionally can’t help but publicly get excited about his son’s talent, the Ball patriarch eagerly and shamelessly pushes his children into the spotlight, even if it means knocking them off the path to success.