LaVar Ball, the over-confident stage dad of Lonzo Ball, is making headlines once again, this time, with a hefty $1 billion asking price for his sons’ endorsement deal. Apparently, LaVar Ball’s price tag to his boys is a “little steep,” considering they have not played a single minute in the NBA.
Last month, LaVar Ball sent the message loud and clear: he will not settle for anything less when it comes to his three sons’ future. The controversial former football and basketball player made a firm stance that he will only consider signing deals with Nike, Adidas, or Under Amour if they meet his pricey $1 billion asking price. Not only that, the 48-year-old NCAA dad also wants to “package” his three sons, Lonzo, LiAngelo, and LaMelo, in the deal.
“A billion dollars, it has to be there. That’s our number, a billion, straight out of the gate. And you don’t even have to give it to me all up front. Give us $100 mil over 10 years.”
Despite LaVar Ball’s over the top price tag, Lonzo might just land his first major shoe deal with one of the industry’s biggest brands. Phil Knight, co-founder of the footwear giant Nike, revealed that they are interested in signing Lonzo to a deal. Apparently, Nike hasn’t been scared off by the hefty amount, however, Phil Knight made it clear that the asking price is a “little steep.”
“If he can get it, get it. It’s a little steep…. He’s an awfully great player. Yeah, we have an interest.”
Many were quick to criticize LaVar Ball’s asking price, calling it far-fetched and ambitious, considering that he wants a “package deal” for all three Ball brothers. It is worth noting that at this point, Lonzo has only played at UCLA and is most likely to be a top-10 pick in the upcoming NBA draft. LiANgelo and LaMelo, on the other hand, are still both in high school and have yet to prove themselves in the college level.
There is no doubt that Lonzo knows his game well, and if he can prove himself worthy, Nike might just give in to his father’s demand. After all, this is not the first time the shoe company considered such an amount for a deal. NBA superstar LeBron James signed a $1 billion lifetime deal with the company a couple of years ago. However, Lebron James is a celebrated basketball player with years of experience in the NBA. Such a deal is worth it for his reputation as an NBA star.
Meanwhile, a recent video of LeBron James is drawing attention for allegedly making fun of Lonzo Ball’s “odd” shooting style. In the video, LeBron James can be seen warming up for his upcoming game against the Chicago Bulls. While doing his usual warmup routine, the Cavaliers star player did something strikingly similar with Lonzo Ball’s shooting form. In fact, Sports Illustrated noticed the style and even called him “LeBronzo Ball.”
Although LeBron James did not really confirm nor deny that he was mocking the 19-year-old rising basketball star, many assume that he was, indeed, making fun of the young Ball.
It can be recalled that LeBron James and Lonzo’s father, LaVar Ball, had quite a controversy. The outspoken LaVar criticized LeBron’s 12-year-old son, LeBron James, Jr., claiming that the aspiring basketball player will never make it big like his father.
“The monsters in the NBA, their dads wasn’t that good,” LaVar Ball reiterated. “They were okay, they was players, but the fact that the old Curry wasn’t no All-Star, he wasn’t cold. He could shoot the ball though. Kobe Bryant, his dad wasn’t all that, that’s why he’s such a monster.”
“You got LeBron, it’s gonna be so hard for his kids, cause they gonna look at them like ‘you gotta be just like your dad.’ And after a while that pressure starts sitting on you like ‘why do I gotta be like him, why can’t I just be me?’ And then they’re gonna be like ‘aw, you’re soft, you’re not that good.’ Because the expectation is very, very high.”
The remarks did not sit well with LeBron James. The former MVP sent a stern warning to LaVar Ball, asking him to stop dragging his family into his absurd logic.
“Keep my kids’ name out of your mouth, keep my family out of your mouth. This is dad to dad. It’s a problem now.”
LaVar Ball made other controversial statements that quickly outraged NBA fans, including his claim that Lonzo is way better than Stephen Curry, and that he can easily beat Michael Jordan in a one-on-one basketball match.
[Featured Image by Mark J. Terrill/ AP Images]