A while back, yours truly wrote about the 7 Dad Stereotypes You’re Sure to Find at Your Local Rec Center. Here at TheLead, we received lots of feedback from sports parents far and wide, either identifying other parents as examples of these stereotypes or pleading guilty to being one themselves. Included among them was at least one former NBA player: former Sacramento King and notorious Shaq tormenter Scot Pollard tweeted the following:
That sparked an interesting question: which current and/or former athletes fit which categories of rec center sports dad stereotypes? Ask and ye shall receive.
7. The Dad Who Coaches So He Can Favor His Own Kid(s)
Would have gone with Antonio Cromartie, because he’s the only dad who can coach a soccer team comprised of only his own kids. But really, this category was made for Scottie Pippen, a man who infamously wouldn’t check back into a game that was tied 102-102 with less than two seconds left because the potential game-winning play wasn’t drawn up for him. Pippen cussed at Phil Jackson and then sat on the bench like a petulant child despite his teammates trying to get him to come in. But he wouldn’t. Don’t worry, Toni Kukoc nailed the game winner anyway. Count this writer as firmly in the “Pippen owes his legacy to Jordan” camp.
6. The Dad Trying to Live Through His Kid to the Point Where He Doesn’t Just Demoralize His Own Kid, He Kills the Weekend of Everyone in Attendance
This one was too easy. LaVar Ball.
Thankfully, Lonzo is a strong-minded young man and doesn’t appear to be demoralized. But when LiAngelo doesn’t turn out to be a pro-caliber player . . . let’s just say all of our hearts will go out to him.
5. The Dad Who Was a Former Crazy Man, Turned His Life Around, and All of the Parents Want Their Kids On His Team
Had to change this one from “The Dad Who Leaves Everyone Wondering What Mailman Knocked Up the Kid’s Mom” because we’re talking about the children of athletes. It’s not exactly going to come as a surprise to anyone that LeBron’s kid can play.
Instead, how about the dad who will shock everyone who thought they knew him by being unbelievably nice and supportive? Ryan Leaf, everyone. Yes, that Ryan Leaf. You may remember him as the guy who ran himself out of the NFL, but Ryan has gotten his act together and started a foundation to commit his life to helping people on the road to recovery and the transition from young adult into adulthood. He’s even a mentor at the NFL Combine. We saw him out in LA at a restaurant recently and he looked great – really good to see!
4. The Dad Who Buys Every New Piece of Equipment for His Kid to Try and Get Him to Love Sports Even Though the Kid Just Wants to Read Science Books and Fix the Earth
A-Rod. If there’s anybody who would think that a lack of production can be fixed by a little Nike shopping and some work on one’s image, it’s A-Rod.
3. The Psycho Dad Who Behaves the Same Way Whether He’s Attending His Kid’s Game Or In the Black Hole at a Raiders Home Game
Kevin Garnett. That man runs a 100% intensity rating at all times. HE LIVES HIS LIFE IN ALL CAPS DAMN IT. If you can’t picture KG going nuts for no reason, just watch the above video of his warm up again. Intensity? Check. A little splash of OCD mixed in? Check. Head-butting the basket support for no reason? Double check.
2. The Dad Who was a Pro and Has Come To Terms With the Fact That His Genes Didn’t Seep Into His Kid Who’s the Seventh Man on the Rec League Team
Scot Pollard (mentioned above) could be a good candidate for this one, but we’ve never seen his kids play, so we put another athlete here, and it may surprise you: Metta World Peace. Yes, that Metta World Peace. I have firsthand knowledge, having coached against one of Metta’s sons at the rec center. Metta couldn’t have been a more supportive parent (his son wasn’t the seventh man, but he also wasn’t the dominant force we imagine Metta was as a youngster).
Not only was Metta supportive, but after games I always spoke to my team outside the gym. It took me five minutes of none of them showing up for me to go back looking for them. It turns out Metta had granted one of my players’ requests for a picture, which of course led to all of them wanting one. Metta, despite that they were the opposing players, gladly granted their requests. Class act. And don’t be surprised if he’s an assistant coach in the NBA in the near future. He’s a far cry from the Malice in the Palace Ron Artest.
1. The Dad Who Was a Pro and Hasn’t Come To Terms With the Fact That His Genes Didn’t Seep Into His Kid Who’s the Seventh Man on the Rec League Basketball Team
Kobe. The Mamba only understands two things: excellence and work ethic. Take away the excellence, and Kobe will try and mold whomever is in his charge into, well, another Mamba. If you can’t picture Kobe yelling at his kids about their form in the backyard then you must have watched a different Kobe than the rest of us did.