LaVar Ball, the father of UCLA standout Lonzo Ball and high school stars Liangelo and Lamelo Ball, has been a hot topic in the sports world over the past three months. LaVar’s name has been in the news lately for his outlandish statements about not only his sons but also himself. Personally, I first heard his name when he boldly stated that he could beat Michael Jordan, who the majority of people consider the best basketball player EVER to play the game, in a game of one vs. one. Additionally, LaVar stated that Lonzo, who has declared for the NBA draft, could replace Steph Curry as point guard on the Golden State Warriors and make the team BETTER. Obviously, he thinks highly of his son because Curry is a two time Most Valuable Player winner. He has also said that Lonzo is the best player in the world. Moreover, LaVar has been developing a brand for his children -- Big Baller Brand -- and said, “Lonzo is going to be the first one drafted with is own brand. That don’t happen.”
Recently, Big Baller Brand released its first ever shoe, retailing at $495, which caused an uproar among sports fans alike for its scandalous price. They also began selling sandals for $220, shirts for $50, and sweatshirts for $60.
“$495 for a shoe is insane especially since Lonzo isn’t even in the NBA yet. If you waste your money on these you’re crazy,” said Teddy Liadis, Freedom High School senior.
Over the past couple months, LaVar has experienced an abundance of criticism for both his ridiculous comments about himself and his son’s and the Big Baller Brand. This causes him to be considered crazy and to be disliked by most Americans and basketball fans for his cocky personality.
On the other hand, I think that LaVar is a genius and should not be hated. First and foremost, he loves his sons and believes they can accomplish anything, like any good father should. He clearly is their number one fan. Additionally, LaVar is a businessman. The outrageous statements he makes about himself being able to beat Jordan one vs. one may or may not be true, but they do accomplish his primary goal -- publicity. He’s putting himself and his sons in the spotlight. During March Madness, every sports channel had coverage on the Ball family; they even had their own mini-documentary on Sportscenter one day. Through all this media coverage on the Ball family, guess what else is being covered? That’s right, the Big Baller Brand. Throughout the interviews, LaVar and his family are decked out in Big Baller Brand gear, which is free advertising for his company. I mean, his strategy is working considering his name is in the news almost every day, which causes a lot of people to talk about him.
Ultimately, LaVar is a father who loves his boys and is a business genius who utilizes his outlandish statements to market his company.
*** Header and thumbnail credit: Richard Mackson, USA TODAY Sports.