Becoming a professional athlete doesn't happen without the help of a dedicated and passionate parent(s) who is there to help at every stage of development. While some parents do the bare minimum in dropping their kid off at practice or bringing them to games, others push their child to the point when the sport becomes less about having fun and more about playing well and earning enough attention to potentially build a career. In reality, a lot of those parents are attempting to live out their failed dreams through their children, which you can definitely argue is the case with LaVar Ball, who is an overconfident clown whose claims include being able to beat Michael Jordan one-on-one and that his three kids - Lonzo, LaMelo, and LiAngelo - will lead the Lakers to multiple championships.
As obnoxious as LaVar is to some, he's beloved by fans around the world for his boisterous attitude and larger-than-life personality. It doesn't matter if what he says is true or not - it only matters if he believes it. For that reason, he's made the headlines on various instances, especially on the likes of Twitter. Though he can be annoying, he's far from the worst parent of a popular athlete, as you'll find out below.
15 LaVar Ball (Lonzo Ball)
Despite the fact there are far worse than LaVar, we can't simply ignore him from this list. In fact, he's the inspiration, given that he is one of the few parents in today's sports world that has become just as much - if not more - of a celebrity than his son. That all could change if Lonzo actually does become an NBA All-Star and lead the Lakers to a championship, but for the time being, you could make the case LaVar is more popular in terms of celebrity status. Seriously though, has Lonzo challenged The Miz on WWE Raw?
14 Andrea McDonald (Alex Collins)
Alex Collins is a Baltimore Ravens running back who was drafted in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. Before that, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida native started for the University of Arkansas, where he recorded a combined 3,870 yards from scrimmage in three seasons and scored 36 touchdowns. However, had his mother, Andrea McDonald, had it her way, Collins would have been playing elsewhere.
13 Tony Rasmus (Colby Rasmus)
Before LaVar Ball became the most outspoken parent in sports, Tony Rasmus wore the crown. The father of former MLB outfielder Colby Rasmus wasn't shy about voicing his comments and concerns about Rasmus' managers and teams, which more often than not ruffled a few feathers. It even wore on Colby, who never really looked like he enjoyed the game, which probably stems for an upbringing completely dedicated to baseball.
12 Philander Rodman (Dennis Rodman)
If you wonder why Dennis Rodman is the way he is (the bizarre, wedding dress-wearing, North Korea-going clown), it might have something to do with his upbringing. Good parenting can have a positive impact on a child's upbringing, but Rodman didn't have that; in fact, he hardly knew his father and finally met him briefly in 2011 after a 42-year absence.
11 Peter Graf (Steffi Graf)
It's no secret that, more than any other sport, becoming a world-class player in tennis requires incredible commitment and dedication. It's a sport that's just as much about mental toughness as it is about skill. There's not much in terms of talent that separates the top players in the world, but what does is their ability to battle through adversity and on-court challenges. Staffi Graf's father Peter knew this.
10 Marc O'Hair (Sean O'Hair)
Sean O'Hair (not to be confused with the former wrestler Sean O'Haire) is a 35 year old professional golfer who has won nearly $2 million on the PGA Tour, which is likely not nearly enough for his estranged father Marc, who would be outraged that Sean has yet to win a PGA Tour event.
9 Richard Williams (Serena & Venus Williams)
As mentioned, tennis players, more than any other athletes, are subject to intense pressure and scrutiny from a young age and the Williams sisters were no different. Richard Williams, the father of Venus and Serena, can be viewed as a revolutionary or a hardass who had no love for his daughters and only wanted to develop them into money-making machines. If you ask the American Tennis Association, they would say the latter as he was recently inducted into its Hall of Fame.
8 Bob Stevenson (Bobby Ryan)
There's overbearing and intense parent figures, and then there's Bob Stevenson, the father of National Hockey League (NHL) player Bobby Ryan. Much has been made of their relationship, especially prior to Ryan being selected second overall in the NHL Entry Draft behind Sidney Crosby, and it's a remarkable story.
7 Marv Marinovich (Todd Marinovich)
Todd Marinovich is a former high school football phenom who starred for the University of Southern California before failing to establish himself in the NFL. Following his short-lived football career, he turned to drugs (he was arrested after being found nude passed out in a stranger's backyard in 2016), which isn't a shock given the intense pressure he had been put under throughout his entire existence.
6 Damir Dokic (Jelena Dokic)
Jelena Dokic is a tennis commentator who once reached the world number two ranking on the ATP Tour. Her father is Damir Dokic, a war veteran who brought the strict discipline he was taught in the military to his role as both a father and tennis coach. While some of the fathers on this list are guilty of overworking their children, Damir took it to another level on more than one occasion.
5 Mike Agassi (Andre Agassi)
Andre Agassi hates tennis. You might not think that was the case given his tremendous success in the sport, but like many others, the talented star and former world number one was pushed relentlessly by his militant-like father, a former Olympic boxer who emigrated from Tehran to the United States to raise his family. Because he demanded so much out of himself as an athlete, he expected the same intense training from Agassi as a child.
4 Cecil Fielder (Prince Fielder)
Before being forced to retire due to injuries, Prince Fielder was a dominant hitter for the Milwaukee Brewers and Texas Rangers, although ironically was a rather poor fielder given his size. His father, Cecil, was much the same; a two-time Silver Slugger, he played 13 seasons in the MLB, hit 319 home runs and recorded 1,008 RBI.
3 John O'Sullivan (Patrick O'Sullivan)
Patrick O'Sullivan was once a highly-touted American junior hockey player who was destined for stardom. While he wasn't the top pick many expected him to become, he did get drafted in the second round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft and went on to play in 334 NHL games, while recording 161 points.
2 Rosalio Pacquiao (Manny Pacquiao)
There's the physical abuse that parents like John O'Sullivan inflicted upon their children and then there's the insane next-level emotional abuse that Rosalio Pacquiao subjected to his son, Manny. Long before Manny was regarded as one of the world's greatest boxers, he was an excited child who grew up in the Philippines with a passion for Bruce Lee films and martial arts.
1 Jack Sr. and Kristina Johnson (Jack Johnson)
We've detailed several athletes whose parents have taken measures to ensure they at least receive some money for the work and commitment they put into developing their child's athletic ability, but none of those instances compare to Jack Johnson, an NHL defenseman who currently plays for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Instead of hiring someone he didn't trust to manage his finances, Jack assumed his parents, Jack Sr. and Kristina, would do the job while truly taking his best interests into consideration. They didn't. Instead, they grossly mismanaged his money, bought high-priced cars and jewelry, extended lines of credit that pushed him into millions of dollars owrth of debt and ultimately bankrupted him. As of 2016, he was in a fight with his parents over their Michigan home, which he was attempting to sell despite the fact they were still living there.
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