It’s the AAU basketball summer silly season, which this year is all the more sillier because of LaVar Ball, who is coaching son LaMelo’s Big Baller squad. On Wednesday night in Las Vegas, things reached the tipping point when Big Baller met SC Supreme, a South Carolina team led by much-heralded Class of 2018 recruit Zion Williamson at the Adidas Uprising Summer Championships.
Apparently, it was the must-attend event of the summer, because everyone was there: NBA players Damian Lillard, Thon Maker, Jamal Murray, Andrew Wiggins plus Lonzo Ball, LaMelo’s older brother and the recent No. 2 pick of the NBA draft, and enough big-time college basketball coaches to fill a couple of buses. And then there was the crowd of 3,000 to 4,000, which stood six and seven rows deep hours before the game even began, according to ESPN’s Myron Medcalf, leading to some consternation from local public-safety officials, who gave the green light for the game to proceed only “one minute” before tip-off, according to the event organizer.
“Unreal. Never seen anything like it,” Kansas Coach Bill Self told Medcalf.
Said Gonzaga Coach Mark Few: “It reminds me a little bit of LeBron games.”
It’s funny Few should mention James: He was in town working out with new Cavaliers teammate Derrick Rose. According to Medcalf, James had planned on watching the game from courtside but never got out of his car once he saw the crowd of 1,500 who couldn’t even get into the Cashman Center, deciding to skip it after consulting with tournament officials.
He missed a defensive struggle.
As for Ball the Elder, he was his usual modest self.
“The best coach ever. That’s how I describe myself,” Ball told ESPN’s Jeff Borzello before the game, which his team lost, 104-92. “The best coach ever. Because I said so.”
Ball picked up a technical foul with 1:15 remaining, and just…