LaVar Ball, the patriarch of the Ball family and the Big Baller Brand, sullied his family's name this week after berating a female referee who issued him a technical foul.
Coaching one of his son's teams at a Las Vegas basketball tournament organized by Adidas, Ball became visibly upset with a female referee who typically officiates NCAA Division I women's basketball. The referee gave Ball a technical foul for complaining about a call on the court.
Coaches typically get into feuds with referees during basketball games. Technical fouls are not a rare occurrence. But it was the extent to which Ball went to retake control of the game that shocked everyone. During half-time, Ball reportedly had the tournament organizers remove the female referee from the game and had her replaced with a male ref.
Immediately after the game, Ball went on a misogynistic rant, calling the referee "a woman trying to break into the game."
"I don't care if all girls ref -- if they're good refs," Ball later said. "Let's go ahead and do it. But it's not about tech-ing up and making a scene."
"It's not about me hating that lady or something like that," he added. "She just got caught in a bad place: messing with me. She's good. She's probably a great ref with the women. But this men's stuff? It's a difference between women's basketball and men's basketball. Just because we go like that and don't hit the ball don't mean it's a foul. But don't get your feelings personal. And that's why people were like, 'She's a great ref.' To you, she's a great ref. Not to me. But it's O.K."
The National Basketball Referees Association, a union made up of basketball referees, issued a statement Sunday condemning Ball's actions.
LaVar Ball's eldest son, Lonzo, was drafted this year by the Los Angeles Lakers and is expected to play a major role as a rookie this season.