LaVar Ball is a villain, make no mistake about it.
As fans, we yearn to see the good guys thwart the bad guys, to see the heroes rise above and send the villains back to the depths of where they came from. It's the basic structure of good vs. evil.
We invest in stories of good vs. evil because we lust for seeing the villains get their comeuppance.
The above is why the Wizards' Wednesday night loss to the Lakers is such a tough pill to swallow.
Losing to the Lakers isn't bad because the Lakers haven't won a playoff game since 2012.
Losing to the Lakers means LaVar Ball wins. It means the villain only gets stronger, their head filled with more confidence, and in LaVar's case: hot air.
It was just the fourth game of the season, but as a fan, it hurts. It hurts bad, and basketball really doesn't have a lot to do with the hurt.
Take the Super Bowl for example.
For the first three quarters, every non-Patriots fan in the country was starting to imagine a world in which the good guys actually won. A world where the villainous Patriots finally got put in there place. This would finally be the year the team everyone loves to hate gets their comeuppance, and in front of the entire world. Then 28-3 happened, and we had to slink back to the corner of the bar while every person with even a lick of Bostonian in them cursed up a jubliee of wild celebration and profanity. The villains won.
The list of sports villains goes on and on: Conor McGregor, Floyd Mayweather, Kentucky basketball, Alabama football, the Dallas Cowboys, just to name a few.
Heck, Michael Jordan was a villain. Not because he was a bad person (which many will debate), but because — dangit — he never lost. All we wanted was to see Jordan lose. It's why the 1998 NBA Finals against the Jazz was so painful. Not only was Jordan on the cusp of defeat, but his opponents — led by John Stockton and Karl Malone — we're wildly likeable. Then Jordan pushed off on Byron Russell. The villain won.
It's not so much that we hate them personally. We just want to them fail because very rarely are the best teams also the most liked. It's part of the human complex. We're haters by nature, whether you're "the jealous type" or not.
We seek the return of the status quo, for a hero to ride in and save the day, vanquishing the villain and finally making them realize they are not some sort of unstoppable, superhuman force.
LaVar Ball is very stoppable.
He will be wrong at some point, and it will be glorious.
We just really wish it would have happened on Wednesday night.