LaVar Ball is an American businessman and former professional football player. He started the Junior Basketball Association and co-founded the sportswear company Big Baller Brand. LaVar Ball is worth $4 million dollars.
He played basketball in college and then played football for the London Monarchs for a short time. Ball is the father of three NBA players. He has gotten a lot of attention in the media for making bold and controversial statements, like saying that his son Lonzo was better than Stephen Curry.
Big Baller Brand (BBB)
Ball and Alan Foster started the sportswear company Big Baller Brand in 2016. Ball is also the CEO of the company.
In April 2017, it was reported that none of the big shoe companies would offer LaVar the kind of licencing endorsement deal he was looking for. On May 4, 2017, LaVar announced that he had made the ZO2 shoe for his son Lonzo, which is his own signature shoe. The shoe cost $495 at the store. When Michael Jordan’s Jordan I came out in 1985, it cost $64 at retail, which is about $150 today after inflation is taken into account. An autographed pair of shoes could be bought for $995. The Big Baller Brand also sold a sandal for $220. LaVar explained why he was so determined to find his sons a very unusual shoe deal:
“We said from the beginning, we aren’t looking for an endorsement deal. We’re looking for co-branding, a true partner. But they’re not ready for that because they’re not used to that model. But hey, the taxi industry wasn’t ready for Uber either.”
LaVar Balls Favorite Quotes
“Realistically you can’t win no championship with three white guys because the foot speed is too slow.” – LaVar Ball
“So when I tell them, ‘Yeah, he coming because Lonzo’s here,’ people look at me crazy and be like, ‘So he’s just coming just because your son is here?’ Yeah. He’s young and passes the ball, so he’s coming because my boy is here.” – LaVar Ball
“These boys were born to go pro. Your mom’s a P.E. teacher, I’m a personal trainer, your last name is Ball. How much more lined up can you be?” – LaVar Ball
“So now you got him going 100 miles an hour then stop, “So now you start getting injuries. So now, people like, ‘Man he’s injury prone.’ ‘Cause Y’all injuring him.” – LaVar Ball
Ball’s brash media appearances and outlandish, inflammatory public statements became increasingly well-known beginning in 2016. Things got off to a slow start, with Ball predicting that his son, who is a UCLA basketball player, would win the NCAA Division I Tournament. After only one year in college, he predicted that all three of his sons would be top NBA prospects. Ball’s comments grew increasingly outrageous over time. He claimed in March 2017 that his son Lonzo was a better player than NBA MVP Stephen Curry, and that he was the best player on the planet. In the same month, Ball claimed that during his playing days, he could “kill” Michael Jordan one-on-one.
Ball got himself into more trouble when he appeared on the Fox Sports show “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” in May of 2017. He displayed sexist behaviour on the show, including refusing to face female host Kristine Leahy and claiming that his Big Baller Brand was not for women. When she inquired about his sales, he told her to “stay in your lane.” This phrase was later printed on T-shirts sold by Big Baller Brand, causing even more controversy. Ball received more flak in July at the Adidas Summer Championships, when he asked to be replaced by a female referee who had given him a technical foul. After making a sexually suggestive remark to the host of ESPN’s show “First Take” in 2019, he was unofficially barred from the network.
Incident in China
Ball’s son LiAngelo and teammates Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were arrested for shoplifting from a luxury mall in Hangzhou in November 2017, just days before UCLA’s college basketball season began in Shanghai, China. Ball downplayed the incident, which could have resulted in a fine and three to ten years in prison for LiAngelo. Despite the fact that the charges against LiAngelo and his teammates were eventually dropped by Chinese authorities, UCLA suspended them indefinitely. Throughout the ordeal, Ball got into a Twitter spat with Donald Trump, who falsely claimed he was to blame for the players’ release.
Lonzo Ball, a current NBA player for the New Orleans Pelicans, is Lavar Ball’s father. During his son’s senior year at UCLA, he was able to successfully use the media to enhance his son’s athletic image, resulting in him being drafted with the second pick in the 2017 NBA draught by the Los Angeles Lakers. Because of his celebrity, he was able to establish a professional basketball league and a sports apparel company, amassing a net worth of $4 million.