When it comes to "Superfan" dads in the world of professional sports, Lavar Ball and Tee Morant have set the bar relatively high in terms of gravitational pull, celebrity status, and their ability to galvanize the media. Long before Lonzo Ball, LiAngelo Ball, and LaMelo Ball turned pro, their outspoken father, Lavar, parlayed the boys' dominant stint at Chino Hills High School into the world-renowned Big Baller Brand. An argument can be made that Lavar became more popular than all of his sons for a short while until Lonzo and LaMelo established themselves in the NBA. Now that Lavar is the CEO of an empire and his boys are all grown up, he has become less active in the public eye.
In the past few years, Tee Morant has ascended high atop the pyramid of the league's famous parents (who never played in the NBA). The former high school basketball teammate of Ray Allen has developed a fanbase of his own as the noticeable parent of the Memphis Grizzlies' star point guard, Ja Morant. Tee is often spotted courtside at Memphis Grizzlies' games, donning a pair of his signature shades with a huge grin and spunky aura that attracts on-camera attention. However, the recent wave of gun-related controversy facing his son is no laughing matter. The high-flying point guard was enjoying a career season when the Grizzlies decided to suspend him for multiple games due to a string of behavioral incidents that underline criminal allegations. In response to what has become a problematic recurring theme, celebrities such as Shannon Sharpe and Fat Joe have called out Tee Morant for giving off the impression that he cares far too much about his status in the limelight than mentoring a young adult who could still use fatherly guidance.
Fat Joe took his frustrations with Tee Morant to social media this week, questioning Tee's ability to prioritize family matters over his newfound fame.
"Ja Morant always got his father there," Fat Joe said. "Instead of enjoying the scene and getting drunk at the games, he better school his son before the kid loses his career [and] loses all the greatness he gotta bring. You gotta understand, as a fan, I'm selfish, I don't want nothing to happen to Ja Morant because he got so many Christmases, so many birthdays, so many times to light them up on TV. He is must see TV. I do not want this kid to get in trouble. They said he's still young, that means nothing...You cannot be out there punching people with a gun...Somebody tell this future billionaire to sit his a*s down!"
The founder of the Terror Squad goes on further illustrate his high hopes for Ja Morant and the potential that he has to change the economic fortunes of his social circle and community for many years to come before stressing the point that he needs his family now more than ever.
"You did not come this far to f*ck this sh*t up," Fat Joe stated. "Your family has to really be your family and talk to you, and I hope that somebody gets him a copy of this [video clip], 'cause I don't make money off Ja Morant, I'm just telling you the truth..."
To watch Fat Joe's message to Tee & Ja Morant, scroll up and skip ahead to the 2:58 mark.