LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The patriarch of one of the Southland’s most talented basketball families is blaming Lonzo Ball’s failure to take UCLA to a national championship at least partly on the team’s lack of color.

Lavar Ball told reporters Thursday that his son suffered a pulled hamstring during the Bruins’ Sweet 16 loss to Kentucky, which he says was the reason Lonzo couldn’t pick up the slack for his less athletic teammates.

“Realistically you can’t win no championship with three white guys because the foot speed is too slow,” LaVar Ball told the Southern California News Group. “I told Lonzo – ‘One of these games you might need to go for 30 or 40 points.’ It turned out that was the one game. Then once they get to the Elite 8, they’re right there.”

While he did not specify who he was referring to, Ball was believed to be calling out UCLA starters TJ Leaf, Bryce Alford and Thomas Welsh for their lackluster performance in the team’s 86-75 loss.

His comments quickly went viral for what some said was a racist slight towards white basketball players.

Others pointed out that Lavar Ball is married to a white woman, Tina, the mother of Lonzo, LiAngelo, and LaMelo Ball, and that the Ball boys are half-white.

Lonzo Ball is expected to be the top pick in the NBA Draft in June, but he’s already said he’d rather play for the Lakers instead.


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