3 Stories: Loudmouth LaVar, Nike's 'Pro Hijab,' World Baseball Classic

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UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball's father, LaVar, has been in the news. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball's father, LaVar, has been in the news. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The UCLA Bruins star freshman point guard Lonzo Ball has been in the news this season not only for his play but for his family. Younger brothers LiAngelo and LaMelo are notable high school basketball players and father LaVar has not been shy addressing his sons' athletic skill. That story and more on this week's "3 Stories You Should Know."

Michael Lee of Yahoo! Sports and WBUR's Shira Springer joined Bill Littlefield.

1. Loudmouth LaVar

Freshman guard Lonzo Ball has led the UCLA Bruins to a 28-3 record this season. But his father is also making headlines. He recently went as far as to say that Lonzo is better than reigning two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry. Michael Lee is concerned.

This dad is not just a man with a plan, he's a man with a big mouth...The Ball brothers have a chance to be something like the 'Brothers Manning' of the NBA or something even bigger. But I wonder if the parent does too much to overshadow their kids, is that actually good or bad long term for these kids?...I think NBA players are definitely aware of Lonzo Ball, they're definitely aware of his dad and they know that right now his dad is writing a massive check that his son's going to have to cash.

2. Nike's 'Pro Hijab'

Muslim women have become more common in sport in recent years, and Nike is noticing. The leading athletic brand in the world announced this week that it will release a new piece of athletic wear in 2018 — the 'Pro Hijab.' Shira Springer questions whether this move is just a symbolic statement.

Let's be honest, part of Nike's motivation is market expansion. Perhaps it's not surprising that the hijab announcement followed Nike's release of an Arabic version of its training app. I get it, but wouldn't it be great if Nike offered more than the 'Pro Hijab' and an Arabic training app? With its estimated worth of $27 billion, I'm thinking maybe Nike could fund gyms or training facilities for all the women in the Arab world who they hope will soon be wearing their hijabs.

3. World Baseball Classic Missing USA Stars

Team U.S.A is without Clayton Kershaw, Bryce Harper and Mike Trout in this year's World Baseball Classic. Of the players' absence, ESPN's Howard Bryant wrote, "If baseball doesn't want to be swept into oblivion, its biggest stars need to be where the lights are brightest." Bill Littlefield isn't worried that the sport will be swept into oblivion, but...

I wish the World Baseball Classicn did draw the MVP's and the Cy Young Award winners. It'd be great for the game, it'd be better for the competition and the teams that are sending their best players would have a better way to measure how successful and how good those players really are as baseball comes along in those countries. Plus it's good fun, hey, a real world champion emerges from this as opposed to the champion of North America.

More Stories You Should Know

This segment aired on March 11, 2017.


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