The Ball family has dominated the basketball universe in 2017, so it is only right that I start off 2018 with a post about LaVar Ball. LaVar has had his share of naysayers and haters, some of which is well deserved. I must confess I am a support of the Ball family but there is something I may disagree with. My disagreements with certain actions of LaVar are me just venting because it his life and family to do with he wants.

With regards to the Junior Basketball Association(JBA) that LaVar has stated he will create, people are upset because LaVar stated he will allow top high school basketball players to play in the league instead of going to college for one year. People are concerned because these players will give up the opportunity for a free college education. This is true because once given a scholarship that scholarship is valid for a lifetime, a player can return to college to complete his degree once his professional basketball career is over. The caveat that people are not discussing has LaVar stated the top players, top players consist of 10 to 20 players. That being said; the league will comprise of 80 players, therefore, you have to consider the other 60 to 70 players. No one is thinking about the players who did not get a college scholarship for various reasons, the streetball players, the players who have graduated college and players who did not attend high school. Everyone is only concerned about players that they can profit from, these other players no one cares about and do not offer a pathway to the NBA. Everyone knows that basketball player who you believe is a great player but has never made it. The JBA may give these players a chance to earn money playing the game they love and give the opportunity to showcase their talent to the NBA, G-League and European Professional basketball leagues.

I will admit the LaVar may not have the best business accruements but instead of criticizing his missteps individuals should be offering guidance. LaVar business ideas empower the athlete and allow the athlete to profit or increase profits from their talent.





LiAngelo Ball has left UCLA and we do not know his plans. I have been a supporter of the Ball family especially LaVar, but I do not think this was a smart move. I hope LaVar proves me and all other nay-sayers wrong as he has done in the past. I do not like doubting anyone because everyone can prove someone wrong, all they must do is put in the work and refuse to fail but I think this move will hurt LiAngelo.

One of the reasons I believe this will hurt LiAngelo is based on his current reputation, most NBA teams will not give him a chance. I believe it would have been better to stay in UCLA overcome the stigma for the theft and produce on the court for UCLA. Before this incident in China, everything said about the Balls was that they are terrific kids. People were waiting for an incident like this to happen so that they can criticize the Balls and how their parenting. The media and the public do not mention the other players involved and we still do not know who stole the merchandise. Repairing his reputation was the most important thing and leaving a school because they are punishing you for the crime and the embarrassment associated with it will not help. There are great players who NBA teams have shied away from because of character issues, in addition, LiAngelo has not shown he can be a good player on the collegiate level.

LaVar says he will be getting LiAngelo ready for the draft but who has identified him as a draft project. LiAngelo was not an ESPN top 100 players coming out of high school. What is strange about this I can not remember a player being the leading scorer on a nationally ranked school not being considered a top high school player. Both of his brothers were ranked, therefore the argument he is not ranked because of LaVar will not work. It is incredibly hard for high school top 10 players to get draft without playing in college, so what magic formula does LaVar have that will get his son drafted. The fact that he believes the punishment was too harsh will have teams turning away. I believe LiAngelo is the better shooter of the brothers, but he does not have Lonzo’s court vision and athletic abilities; LaMelo is today’s prototypical point guard. LaMelo can be Damian Lillard at six feet five inches tall. I saw LiAngelo being like Dennis Scott, I believe that is who he should have modeled his game after to ensure he makes it to the NBA. Dennis Scott had a successful career at Georgia Tech, that allowed NBA teams to see him play at a high level, what body of work will LiAngelo have for NBA scouts to judge. Workouts and being in shape does not translate to NBA talent, he to display he could excel in games. There are players in the G league now who can score but they have not received a call from the NBA.

I am hoping LaVar has a trick up his sleeve because if he is wrong this decision could affect all three of his sons. People will question LaMelo game because he is not playing high school ball and may not be able to play in college. Lonzo is struggling by some people standards. Any failures will be contributed to LaVar and this empire he is slowly building may come crumbling down.

A few days ago Lonzo Ball announced his new shoe the ZO2, after the announcement, there have been several complaints on social media about his shoe. Some have complaints have been about the price of the shoe, $495 base price; some have complained about any and everything under the sun. I have noticed many of the attacks on the Ball family and their shoe have been vicious and presented in an angry tone. This got me to thinking what are you mad for?

Many people have stated that they do like LaVar Ball, the father of the basketball playing Ball children. People have stated that LaVar is arrogant, braggadocios, and delusional to name a few things. Personally, I like LaVar because he is entertaining, he loves his kids, he works hard to help his kids and him fulfill their dreams, and family is the most important thing to him. People do not like that he believes his kids are better basketball players than other players who have achieved great success in the NBA. I say those are his children why shouldn’t he believe his children are the best, LaVar knows what their aspirations are and how hard they work to meet their goals. To achieve greatness or to be successful at anything in life it starts with a person believing he or she will be successful. Hence the term “you have to believe to achieve.”   People tend to focus on the outlandish statements that LaVar makes, I focus more on the meaningful statements such as “there are more things to be concerned about that basketball” or ‘I will support my kids regardless of basketball.” Statements like these tell me LaVar has a grip on reality and many of the outlandish statements are showmanship. What are you mad a LaVar for? He wants the best for kids, he believes in kids, he gives everything in order for kids to fulfill their dreams, and he loves his kids. As a parent aren’t you the same when it comes to your children, you may not express it like LaVar does but I would like to believe you are just as supportive.

Regards to Lonzo Ball, people on social media are stating Lonzo is overrated, he does not deserve a shoe, he has not proven anything yet, and he is going to be a failure in the NBA. The first thing I would like to say to these people is Lonzo was one of the top players coming out of high schools, he is one of the top college players, and he will be a top-five pick in the upcoming NBA draft. A person does not have these accomplishments and be considered overrated, Lonzo has proven himself on every level. I do not know how successful he will be in the NBA but nobody knows how successful any player is going to be at the next level. To be successful in the NBA it takes a combination of talent and willpower, so far Lonzo has displayed both. There are people who believe the hype surrounding Lonzo is because of the attention his father has gained with his comments. These people have to remember the reason his father was able to make these statements for the world to hear was because Lonzo was playing great on the college level. Lonzo play put his father and family in the spotlight. Lonzo Ball is a kid trying to live out his dream, a dream that he has worked hard to make come true. If you are a person rooting against Lonzo or hoping he fails that says a lot about you as a person. Regardless of one’s dislikes for his father, Lonzo is a child, would you want people hoping you child fails at his or her dream. So what are you mad for?

The new shoe ZO2, people are upset about the price of the shoe at $495. Now personally I would not pay this much for a shoe but I would not be mad at someone who does. You have former professional athletes stating the cost of the shoe should be lower but one has to remember the Balls are manufacturing the shoe themselves. We do not know how much it cost the Balls to manufacture a pair of shoes. The Balls do not have access like Nike and Adidas, Nike and Adidas mark their shoes up about 600% no one is complaining about that. People say that why would someone pay that much for a sneaker but people fail to realize people already pay more than that for sneakers stores such as Sneaker Pawn and Stadium Goods have to problem selling sneakers that cost three times the amount of the ZO2. There is a market out there for sneakers in this price range just because you may not be familiar with it does not mean it does not exist. Others will say we know about Air Jordan’s and Michael Jordan is the greatest player to ever play the game of basketball. Does buying his sneakers make you play better, does his sneaker last longer or does his sneaker generate income for you. The answer is no, the difference is the market has accepted the price for Air Jordan’s. Instead of any professional athlete speaking out against the ZO2 every professional and aspiring professional athlete should buy a pair of ZO2s. I say this because this will only improve the professional athlete’s negotiation stance will dealing with a company. The company will know that the athlete no longer has to deal with the major companies to generate income outside their sports and this will force the companies to pay the athletes more for endorsing their products. The more successful ZO2 is the more successful the pro athlete will be off the court or field.

So what are you mad for?

Is Big Baller Brand traveling unchartered waters of the NBA? Will Big Baller Brand be successful navigating these waters? Anybody following the game of basketball has heard of the Big Baller Brand or its creator LaVar Ball. LaVar Ball is the father of UCLA freshman sensation and potential top-five NBA lottery pick Lonzo Ball. The LaVar has two other great basketball playing sons who also will be attending UCLA in the near future. LaVar has created his own sports apparel company Big Baller Brand, with the understanding that his son, Lonzo will have endorsement deals laid at his feet LaVar goal is to have one of the major sneaker companies enter into a partnership with Big Baller Brand. He has mentioned a billion dollar deal, this is unlikely but what type deal if any would the Balls be able to get?

LaVar Ball is an outspoken individual, people may take offense to some of his comments but LaVar has created a frenzy of attention for him, his sons, and the Big Baller Brand Company. There are some who may not like LaVar’s comments or LaVar himself but he has been able to get himself and Lonzo on all the major sports television shows. I cannot remember a college player or the player’s parent ever having this much media attention around them, this is great marketing for the Ball family and all their endeavors.

Personally, I believe LaVar attempt to get a partnership deal with one of the major sports apparel or sneaker companies is pure genius. Everyone knows being a top pick in the NBA draft ensures endorsement deals, so why not get a deal that will secure your family’s financial stability for the foreseeable future. Building a successful company may last much longer than the kids pro basketball careers. He may not the billion dollars he mentioned but what will he get? Because companies know that they will have to approach them with an enticing offer. People assume that the Big Baller Brand only represents the Ball children but people have to remember there are two other players with NBA potential associated with Ball family. Suppose LaVar was able to get other top players to become part of the Big Baller Brand Company would this increase the company’s value. The public hears some of these outrageous amounts of money but you have to remember these deals are structured over several years. A billion dollars over a 20 year period is 50 million a year. Is 50 million a year excessive if he can provide five to ten NBA players to represent the brand?

Big Baller Brand is traveling these unchartered waters so it will be interesting to see the outcome. If LaVar is successful in acquiring a deal for his brand, no matter what the amount of the deal, this could change the way endorsements deal are done for all future players in all sports. Just imagine if five of the top ten players projected in this upcoming draft were to create their own sports apparel company, the major companies would have no choice but to enter into a partnership with players.

No matter how you may feel about LaVar Ball if he is successful, sports and endorsement may never be the same. Players in the future will have to thank Big Baller Brand for creating a pathway in these unchartered waters of the NBA.