Bravo to Jay Bilas. Hopefully, this won't be the last we hear from him on ESPN.

ESPN's lead analyst for its college basketball coverage took a stand earlier this week against the unending coverage of LaVar Ball. In a roundabout way, Bilas was scolding his own network and bosses.

Ball is the father of three talented basketball sons, including Lonzo Ball, who was the No. 2 pick by the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Draft. The elder Ball never misses the opportunity to say outrageous things, including how he could beat Michael Jordan in a one-on-one game (Ball averaged two points per game at Washington State) and how Lonzo is a better player than Steph Curry.

ESPN seems to go out of its way to let LaVar Ball have the stage whenever he wants. If he's at an event covered by ESPN, you can be assured a sideline reporter will interview him.

However, Ball's recent stunt was the last straw for Bilas.

Ball had a female referee removed by tournament organizers while coaching an AAU team. Then Ball didn't like the next referee and pulled his team off the court. Afterwards, Ball bragged about getting the female referee removed and suggested she "stay in her lane."

That has a familiar ring.

Ball told a Fox Sports 1 reporter, Kristine Leahy, to "stay in her lane" during an interview on "The Herd with Colin Cowherd" in the spring. Apparently, Ball didn't like Leahy's questioning his Big Baller Brand gear or his parenting skills.

Bilas ripped Ball in an article on espn.com Monday, ending it with "he is a misogynistic buffoon unworthy of my time."

Right on, Jay.

ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit quickly applauded Bilas’ words on Twitter, writing: "The whole thing is like a WWE side show. He says the most outrageous thing he can think of (Rowdy Roddy Piper) and everyone goes crazy."

Unfortunately, ESPN seems to promote all this wackiness, pandering for the Kardashian crowd. Covering real sports news, issues and games just isn't enough anymore. 

PGA Tour: Bridgestone Invitational (CBS, 1 p.m. Saturday, Sunday): Like Phil Mickelson a couple weeks ago, Rory McIlroy will have a new man on the bag after firing his long-time caddie. Sounds like an excuse for so-so play.

MLB: Nationals at Cubs (WAOE, 1:20 p.m. Saturday; TBS, Comcast, 1:20 p.m. Sunday): Looking more and more like this is a preview of NL Divisional Series. Of course, in October the Cubs can't avoid Scherzer and Strasburg.  

NFL preseason: Broncos at Bears (WYZZ, 7 p.m. Thursday): First chance to catch a glimpse of the Mike Glennon era for Chicago. Watch now ... or it could be over soon.   

Contact Jim Benson at jbenson@pantagraph.com.

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Sports Writer

Sports Writer for The Pantagraph.

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