IF you don’t know who LaVar Ball, let me give you a quick run down. His three sons (Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo) are poised for basketball greatness with his eldest son Lonzo expected to be a top three pick in this years NBA draft. During his son’s freshman year at UCLA, LaVar has made a name for himself by making outlandish and controversial statements regarding his sons and his own basketball talents. LaVar Ball’s statements have been heard by almost everyone in the basketball world, including Nike, Under Armour and Adidas who control 99% of the NBA shoe market and all of whom recently passed on signing Lonzo to a lucrative shoe deal.
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ONCE Lonzo left college it was always deemed a formality that he would sign a big shoe deal with a big brand. However, the only brand he is repping at the moment is his fathers creation ‘Big Baller Brand’. While I’m sure they have made a few dollars from selling sweatshirts and hats, it pales in comparison to the deal they could have potentially workshopped with one of the powerhouse basketball companies. Apparently were the deal between the two sides broke down was when LaVar insisted that whomever signs Lonzo agreed to license BBB. Just to give you a little bit of insight not even LeBron James, the universally recognised most popular and arguably the best player in the world has a co-branded shoe deal.
Image from theundefeated.com
To demand such a commitment to the Ball trio both financially and business wise is a massive ask and you can’t blame them for turning down the possibility. Especially when the deal is being executed by a man who has transformed from obnoxious father pumping up his son’s abilities and potential, to brash delusional father with an extreme lack of self awareness. Fair enough make claims about how great your son is and how far he can go, hell I even had no issue with him saying if you swapped Lonzo with Steph Curry UCLA would be worse and the Warriors would be better. But to claim that you could be Michael Jordan, the greatest player to ever play the game of basketball in 1-on-1 is just wasting oxygen.
UNFORTUNATELY for the Ball family YouTube views don’t translate to dollars, which means at this point they are essentially up shit creek without a paddle. They could LaVar’s response of ‘Haters gonna hate, but BBB gonna be great’ to the companies that passed on signing the future superstar, isn’t going to get his son paychecks. It may be time for Lonzo to opt for a new business plan, one that isn’t spearheaded by his outspoken pops. I don’t think this is a realistic possibility or solution, but Lonzo needs to seriously consider the ramifications of what his father is saying and doing. Last week he found out first hand what his dads actions and words can do to his future as he waved goodbye to millions of dollar before he has even been drafted.
Image from slamonline.com
The successful marketability of a player is just as important as his talent when it comes to workshopping a deal and as long as LaVar has air in his lungs you can expect these ‘headliner’ statements to keep flying. Those statements not only affect Lonzo, but his younger siblings LiAngelo and LaMelo as well. Soon the Ball brothers won’t be known for their basketball ability, but instead as the sons of LaVar Ball. That may be a bit of a stretch if all three pan out to be NBA players, but that is still a long way off. There are no certainties though even though Lonzo seems destined for success in the league. One thing is for certain. If LaVar Ball doesn’t shut up or add a filter when he speaks the future of Big Baller Brand and his sons future earnings will continue to suffer.
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