Kristine Leahy says LaVar Ball’s ‘complete lack of respect’ doesn’t deserve a TV platform

LaVar Ball cheers during a Chino Hills basketball game on March 12, 2016.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Fox Sports reporter Kristine Leahy had spent much of the previous 24 hours talking about LaVar Ball and how the basketball dad/entrepreneur treated her on Wednesday’s broadcast of “The Herd With Colin Cowherd.”

By Thursday’s show, she wanted to be done with Ball if he was going to continue to act in a disrespectful manner — and hoped her network and others felt the same.

“For me, truthfully, I don’t really want to talk about him anymore. I don’t want to continue to let him be a part of my life as he has the last 24 hours,” Leahy said during the broadcast. “But I think the reason that so many networks choose to have him on is because he says a lot of controversial things. He’s loud and a big personality, which I’ve been totally fine with.


“But I hope that yesterday showed who he is and that we stop putting him on all these networks just to get controversial statements out of him because that is potentially what could happen. I think there’s no place for that in TV no matter what kind of ratings you’re going to get.”

Ball was on Wednesday’s show to react to the Lakers receiving the No. 2 pick in the upcoming NBA draft. With the Boston Celtics expected to pick Washington point guard Markelle Fultz at No. 1 overall, the table is set for UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball to go to the Lakers, just like his father had hoped.

But Cowherd said Thursday that Ball, in his third appearance on the show, revealed his “dark side.”

“I thought he was a bully,” Cowherd said.

Among the incidents on Wednesday’s broadcast, Ball told Leahy, “Stay in your lane,” in response to her question about his Big Baller Brand shoes. He also refused to look directly at Leahy when addressing her. When Leahy accused him of disrepecting women, Ball told her, “I never disrespect women, but if you act like that, guess what? Something’s coming to you,” a comment Leahy interpreted as a threat.

“My issue with what happened is just a complete lack of respect,” Leahy said Thursday.

“He can disagree with everything that I have to say and do it passionately. ... But have some respect. Don’t threaten me, don’t make personal jokes, don’t mock me and don’t say you’re not going to look me in the eye. If he wants to come on and look me in the eye and be respectful, he can still disagree with me. I’m OK with that, but I will not tolerate what he did yesterday.”


Twitter: @chewkiii