Father of UCLA Star Causes Controversy with Comments

By Patrick Barron,
Sports Business Writer
lavar ball
The father of UCLA men’s basketball star Lonzo Ball, Lavar Ball is embroiled in multiple controversies stemming from comments he has made regarding his sons. He has three sons: Lonzo, a star freshman at ULCA, LaMelo and LiAngelo, who both play basketball at Chino Highs High School in California. Simply put, he does not think any basketball player is better than his sons are, and wants the best for them.

Recently, talking to USA Today Sports, Ball said of a possible shoe deal, “A billion dollars, it has to be there. That’s our number, a billion, straight out the gate. And you don’t even have to give it to me all up front. Give us $100 mil over 10 years.”

Not only has his comments lit up the basketball world, but also some media figures agreed with Ball sentiments. In addition, one of his supporters, Colin Cowherd, the host of the Fox Sports show, “The Herd” explained why he likes Lonzo Ball’s  strategy.

He said, “Everybody’s laughing at him. But he created a brand called the ‘Big Baller Brand.’ And the motto of that company is, ‘Built for this.’ So I’m going to give you the mottos of all the other four big brands in that space. Under Armour is, ‘Protect this house.’ Nike is, ‘Just do it.’ Adidas is, ‘Impossible is nothing.’ And Big Baller Brand is, ‘Built for this.’ Fits right in.”

On the other hand, Ball’s opponents says he is inserting unnecessary media attention on his sons, which can lead to negative effects later. Also, they warned that if Lonzo does not succeed in the NBA, he would take the responsibility for it.

Not to mention, Tigers Woods’ father, Earl faced similar issues as Ball when he promoted his son’s prodigious golf skills. However, Woods became an all-time great racking up many championships and awards. Therefore, there might be a method to Ball madness, since if either of his sons became stars in the NBA he benefits. And, his Big Baller Brand (BBB) increases whenever he makes an appearance on television shows.

Ultimately, one has to question what sort of effect Ball’s comments has on Lonzo as he looks to finish his freshman year strong, so he can make the jump to the NBA. He is projected to be a potential top-three draft pick in the year’s upcoming draft, that several basketball analysts say it is the finest in years. Whether Ball is right or wrong, only time will tell. Regardless of his father’s actions, Lonzo Ball is entertaining to watch as he seeks to lead the ULCA Bruins men’s basketball team to NCAA tournament glory.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 print edition.

Contact Patrick at


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