After her dustup with LaVar Ball, Fox Sports reporter Kristine Leahy apparently says she's receiving death threats.
LaVar Ball is the dad with the outsized personality of UCLA basketball star Lonzo Ball. The younger Ball is projected to be a first-round selection in the upcoming NBA Draft, likely by the hometown Los Angeles Lakers, who hold the second pick. LaVar Ball wanted his son to join the Lakers all along and has vowed that Lonzo will only work out for that team in the run-up to the draft.
During an appearance The Herd with Colin Cowherd (see clip below) on Fox Sports 1 and simulcast on Fox Sports Radio, LaVar Ball seemed to bristle when Leahy asked him how many pairs of $495 basketball shoes in the Big Baller brand he actually sold so far.
"Stay in your lane," Ball responded dismissively with his back toward her but lifting his hand in her direction, while also accusing Leahy of being "a hater."
He also joked that he was scared to death of Leahy.
Addressing himself to Cowherd, Ball detailed that the company sold about 400 or 500 pairs so far.
The studio where Colin Cowherd does his show has an odd configuration, with the host sitting at a desk on a raised platform, the guest sitting on the couch below him, and Leahy, who does the sports updates, facing the back of the guest. It is likely that Fox Sports will redesign the setup after this incident.
The elder Ball also rejected Leahy's contention (which she has made previously) that his brand needs to appeal to women who do most of the family shopping. Ball was unable to strike a deal with Adidas, Nike, or Under Armour to market the shoe.
Ball added that he would never disrespect women, but that "something's coming to you," which Leahy interpreted as a threat of some kind, which Ball denied.
The ratings-challenged Fox Sports may get a boost in viewership from this encounter, which could be why the network is giving it so much attention after the initial segment went viral on social media.
Leahy reacted to the controversy the next day on The Herd and subsequently on the companion show Speak for Yourself.
Although a clip of her specific comment does not seem to be available at this writing, Leahy apparently told Cowherd that "I think I'm gonna talk more about this later on Speak for Yourself, some of the other issues that have come up. Now I'm getting death threats, so I'll leave it at that," Complex reported.
Leahy, 30, insisted that debate is healthy, but it should be conducted respectfully, she explained to Cowherd on the Wednesday broadcast.
"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 Okay with that. But I will not tolerate what he did yesterday."
Cowherd claimed that he didn't step in more forcefully during the argument because he wanted to empower Leahy.