LAS VEGAS — One day after LaVar Ball said a female referee was “not in shape” and “needs to stay in her lane,” he said he had “no second thoughts” about his comments.
“You guys are trying to make it like a gender thing. It’s not that,” Ball told reporters after his Big Baller Brand’s AAU team lost at the Adidas Summer Championships on Saturday evening. “All I’m saying was, what’s her name? Exactly. The only reason you know her is she gave me and my son a tech. And that’s what it is when you ref somebody who’s got a high celebrity. Every coach acts like that because the intensity of the game is so high. And I’m just saying, don’t have no vendettas in here.”
Ball received a technical foul during a game Friday morning from the same referee who gave him a technical foul during Wednesday night’s game. He threatened to pull his team off the court, but the game resumed after the female referee was replaced midgame.
Afterward, Ball said the referee, who has yet to comment, wasn’t qualified.
On Saturday, he insisted that it wasn’t a gender issue.
“I don’t care if all girls ref — if they’re good refs,” Ball 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 OK.”
The referee who gave Ball two technical fouls officiates NCAA Division I women’s basketball games.
There was no drama with Ball and the officials in any of Big Baller Brand’s final three games Friday night and Saturday.
“It’s just a ref. I’m just looking at the stripes on the shirt. It’s not looking like, oh, you’ve got a ponytail, you don’t know what you’re doing,” he said. “I’m just saying, work at your craft. When you get these big crowds and big games, it’s elevated at a whole different level. You’re on prime time, so you gotta have your game right. You can’t let the game get away from you.”
Ball closed in classic LaVar fashion.
“I wish her the best. I don’t want her to be like, ‘I’m the one who gave LaVar a tech.’ Don’t let that be your career. Keep striving to be the best,” he said. “Be a Big Baller. Order a Big Baller Brand shirt. I’ll send it to her.”