“Duck De’Aaron Fox? Have you heard about De’Aaron Fox? Hell nah,” LaVar said on Fox Sports Radio. “You can’t hear about him unless he puts my boy’s name in his mouth. He been doing all this stuff and ain’t nobody been talking about him. So he and his dad gotta link themselves to us to be relevant. De’Aaron Fox had a whole season and the only thing they talk about is 39 points against Zo. You don’t put Zo in a sentence, nobody cares about him.”
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LaVar Ball, in a radio interview with Mornings with Keyshawn, Jorge and LZ on ESPN LA 710, said Monday that his son doesn’t need to tinker with his shot, despite his 38.2 percent shooting percentage in Las Vegas. “Oh, ain’t nobody tinkering with his shot. He’s going to shoot the same way, comfortable, like I said, who cares about his shot,” he said.
LaVar commented to ESPN this weekend about Lonzo’s footwear and he explained why he went from Nike to Adidas to Under Armour in consecutive games. “It’s making a statement to the brands of what they could have had with an open mind. The players are the brand ambassadors. The brand is nothing without the players.”
Asked whether there’s still a chance that a big shoe brand can sign his son Lonzo Ball, LaVar responded: “If the price is right. Quite frankly we are officially in the shoe game, and are a billion dollar brand either way.”
Responding to a question about Embiid’s $10,000 fine for cursing about him, LaVar Ball offered this pearl of wisdom: “He get fined every time he say a cuss word. Like I said, his vocabulary is limited. I bet he can’t say ‘F you’ more than I can say it to him. ’Cause his a—’ll be broke. When you working for somebody, shut your mouth!”
Jovan Buha: LaVar Ball says he isn’t impressed with Lonzo’s summer league performance — in which Ball averaged 17.0 points, 8.3 rebounds and 9.8 assists, including two triple-doubles — because the Lakers lost games and he expects it from his son. “They say he can’t play no defense. Two five-steal games in a row. What’s defense?”
Jovan Buha: LaVar Ball responds to Joel Embiid’s fine for saying “F— LaVar Ball.”
LaVar Ball says his son’s wearing of Nike shoes Wednesday night is about the Los Angeles Lakers rookie’s freedom to choose and has nothing to do with any negotiations with the world’s largest shoe and apparel company. “Lonzo is not forced to wear any brand and can play in any shoe he wants as long as it’s OK with the NBA,” LaVar Ball told ESPN by text early Thursday morning. “This is what being independent is all about.”
When Ball made his summer league debut Friday, his father LaVar Ball said that if the Lakers ever managed to team up James with his son, they would win a championship together. James can opt out of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers next summer. “Heck yeah!” LaVar Ball told ESPN. “Lonzo and LeBron? Come on man! That’s real deal. You don’t want to give him the best player in the world. You don’t want to give Lonzo the best player in the world and don’t get no championship? Shoot.”
Lonzo Ball’s father, LaVar Ball, was among those to fire back at Delle Donne on Friday night while also taking a jab at Nike. “Let her go with Nike and see where she gets,” LaVar Ball said. “We will see her when time goes by.”
Harrison Faigen: LaVar says Lonzo already changed the culture of Lakers “Instead of going to the movies, these people were out here watching summer league”
Shaqtin’ A Fool: Lavar Ball on Joel Embiid: “i got three words for him: Can’t Play At All. Oh shoot that’s four.” #Shaqtin
LaVar Ball is coming back hard at Joel Embiid — after the NBA star fired an f-bomb at Lonzo’s dad on social media this week. “The reason he said that … his vocabulary is limited,” LaVar told TMZ Sports. “You gotta use cuss words when you don’t have no intellect.” And it didn’t stop there … “He’s not intelligent at all. He’s worried about me? He should be worrying about playing,” LaVar said … adding that Embiid has spent more time on the injury list than on the court.
In an interview with Philadelphia’s 97.5 The Fanatic (for some reason), LaVar used the interview as an opportunity to get his own swipe in on the 76ers’ young core. He said around the 17-minute mark: “When you don’t win, and don’t even make the playoffs, and don’t even stay on the court long enough, that’s the best thing you can do—is tweet and make some stuff. Ain’t nobody else doing that, because they’re working on their games in the gym. These guys ain’t played a game, always hurt, and at the bottom of the totem pole. So guess what? Get your asses off the goddamn Tweeter and get in the gym.”
Alysha Tsuji: LaVar on Lonzo: “From the words of Zeus, Jesus, everybody said he gonna be a Laker. They told me before they told ya’ll”
In an appearance on CSN’s Celtics Talk podcast, LaVar spoke about why he felt Lonzo was a better fit for the Lakers than Celtics. He pointed at the Lakers’ lack of leadership when it comes to their roster. LaVar said: “Team-wise, I think that the Lakers are a better fit. They really don’t have a leader. Boston already went to the playoffs. They pretty much already have a leader. It’s just being realistic.”
Ball also went into the approach he took with his sons, fostering a relationship with their mother when they were younger. “I told them, ‘If you’re going to be disrespectful to your mom, I want you to be all the time.’ So, excuse my language right here, but if you want to say, ‘Good morning, b—-,’ that’s fine with me,” Ball said. “I’m not going to say nothing. If you want to call your mom a b—-, that’s fine. But don’t get sick, when your stomach is hurting and you want me to care for you because you know I ain’t. … She’ll clean up the throw-up, the s—, whatever. She’ll take care of what you want. … So don’t wait until you need something, or you need her to make you something and now you want to be nice to her. … “So they never disrespect their mom, or talk back to her or say nothing. Because I say, ‘In the long run, you’re going to need her before you need me.'”
Ball later clarified remarks he made during the interview, saying that he has spanked each son once in their lives — and that has instilled a sense of fear so that he hasn’t needed to do it again. “I spanked them once,” Ball said. “To let them know there are repercussions at times. But my boys are respectful, and usually my voice is enough.”
Ball said he doesn’t regret the comments he made to Fox Sports’ Kristine Leahy on an interview last month with Colin Cowherd. Ball told Leahy to “stay in your lane” in response to a question, and he called her a “hater.” “I don’t regret anything I say … never,” Ball said. He later added, “First of all, she was disrespectful by saying that Lonzo was so scared that he didn’t want to talk to her. Lonzo didn’t want to talk to her because she was disrespecting me, so why would my son ever want to talk to you?”
Ball and his kids went shoe shopping with Complex and was asked who helped design the ZO2 sneaker and if it was a team effort. He gave an answer that led to yet another classic LaVar Ball quote (the exchange starts around the 4:35 minute mark): “Everything on that shoe, Lonzo created with no team. Just the creativity of a 19-year-old that knows what he likes. After all these shoes, it’s a mixture of everything that he likes … A shoe is not that big of a deal. It’s two things, stitching and glue. It isn’t a science project.”
There have been questions about whether Ball would want to play in Boston, considering his Los Angeles roots. His father, LaVar Ball, hasn’t been shy about his desire to see his boy play for the hometown squad. “I want him to be a Laker. But that’s just my opinion,” he said on Dale & Holley with Keefe in March. “It’s not about me liking [the Celtics] or disliking them. It’s just that we’re west coast guys,” he said. “I’d love for him to stay on the west coast where his brothers can see him all of the time. We’re a real big family. That’s just the only difference.”
Ball’s father, LaVar, has previously said that his son would only work out for the Los Angeles Lakers. “That’s all we working out for is the Lakers,” LaVar Ball told Lakers Nation earlier this month. “Just the Lakers. There’s nobody else that we need to work out for.”
During an appearance on FS1’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” last week, LaVar Ball explained his preference for Lonzo to play for the Lakers over the Celtics but said, ultimately, he’d be OK if Boston drafted Lonzo. “If Lonzo goes to Boston, he turns into a 2. … Lonzo’s always going to be a point guard. He can play any position, but his true position is point guard and Boston has so many guards, you don’t need that guy,” LaVar Ball said. Later he added: “Here’s the thing: I prefer Zo to go to the Lakers, but if Boston were to choose him and Lonzo wants to play basketball, then guess what, he doesn’t care where he goes.”
Among the many athletes to comment on LaVar’s behavior was Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, who said on a podcast that LaVar needs to back off and “let Lonzo be Lonzo.” Surprise, surprise — LaVar didn’t appreciate those comments. On Fox Sports’ Undisputed, LaVar scoffed at the suggestion, asking how Irving could possibly give advice when he isn’t even a father himself. “Kyrie, definitely,” LaVar said. “How you gonna tell me how my son should be when you don’t have a kid?”
The only problem is, Irving does have a kid — he’s had one since November of 2015. So LaVar got a fact wrong — no big deal, it happens more often than not. But what he said later about Irving’s late mother may have crossed the line from playful trash talk to insensitive bullying. Maybe he don’t have the relationship that me and Zo got. And I don’t think he did. First of all, your mom wasn’t there, so something’s got to change right there. It’s not the same. Lonzo can come home and see his mom and dad all the time. We’ve been together. Most people, with this talent, usually has a single parent. Not two of them together.
On FS1’s “Undisputed,” Ball replied to Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving’s recent suggestion that the famous basketball dad be prepared to “let go” once his son Lonzo is drafted. The senior Ball promptly put his foot in his mouth with his response. “Kyrie, definitely.” Ball said. “How you gonna tell me how my son should be when you don’t have a kid?” Irving’s first child was born in 2015, but that wasn’t the most offensive thing Ball said.
“Kyrie, he’s in a different situation,” he added. “So you can’t put yourself in the same situation as Lonzo. I have a wife and two other sons. You not in that situation … first of all, your mom wasn’t there, so something’s got to change right there. It’s not the same. Lonzo can come home and see his mom and dad all the time.” Irving’s mother, Elizabeth, died when he was 4 years old.
Ball was asked about dealing with the big shoe companies, and he said they will regret not making a deal with him after his son is picked by the Lakers. “Now that Lonzo’s headed to Los Angeles, what they should have done is give me a billion dollars and let me be on my way,” he said.
Fox Sports reporter Kristine Leahy, whom Ball earlier referred to as a “hater” and told to “stay in your lane” after she pressed him on the number of shoes sold, argued that for Big Baller Brand to be appealing to the big shoe companies, he would have to market his products to women. Ball scoffed at the idea. “Yeah, if you have a women’s company. … We’re talking about Big Baller Brand,” he said. Later in the interview, after several tense exchanges with Leahy, Ball said: “I never disrespect women, but I tell you what, if you act like that, something’s coming to you and it’s OK.”
LaVar is way ahead of him. “Oh, he’s going to be a Laker,” he says. “I’m going to keep talking about it until it happens.”
Those stars waited until they were stars to cut out the middleman. But already LaVar’s called out: the shoe companies, the NCAA, AAU basketball teams run by shoe companies, retail stores taking a cut of shoe and merchandise sales — basically all the gatekeepers of the world he’s trying (to conquer. Is he trying to change the system or work it? That might not matter, as long as at least one of his sons lives up to the hype he’s created for them. “People don’t understand the movement,” he says. “This is a power play to show everybody, ‘Yo, we don’t need you to make this s — .'”
LaVar Ball says he wouldn’t seek any advice for his son Lonzo Ball, a top NBA draft prospect, from retired Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant. “I don’t need no advice from Kobe Bryant,” LaVar Ball said Thursday on Keyshawn, Jorge and LZ on ESPN Radio 710 LA. “I don’t need advice from Kobe Bryant. ‘Zo’s got to play his game.
“If they’re at practice and he sees something and Lonzo listens to him or whatever, he’s good. … But it’s just not, ‘OK, I’m talking to Kobe, so now I’m going to be good.’ If Kobe sees something that ‘Zo is doing, then go from there. But I’m not trying to pattern after nobody.”
Much of social media was up in arms at the price of the main shoe, the ZO2, which retails for $495. When asked Friday about how he came up with the price point, LaVar said on ESPN Radio’s The Dan Le Batard Show that he was the sole decision-maker. “I figure that’s what the shoe is worth,” LaVar said. “When you are your own owner you can come up with any price you want.”
In his meetings with the three, LaVar insisted that the company license his upstart Big Baller Brand from him. He also showed the companies a shoe prototype that he hoped would be Lonzo’s first shoe. “We’ve said from the beginning, we aren’t looking for an endorsement deal,” LaVar told ESPN. “We’re looking for co-branding, a true partner. But they’re not ready for that because they’re not used to that model. But hey, the taxi industry wasn’t ready for Uber, either.”
Ball would not disclose how big the Big Baller Brand has become — the company sells hats and t-shirts ranging from $38 to $100 on its website — but he said that current sales numbers shouldn’t have been on the mind of the shoe companies. “When Facebook bought Whatsapp for $19 billion, those guys weren’t profitable,” LaVar said.
After Nike exec George Raveling referred to the outspoken basketball dad as the “worst thing to happen to basketball in the last hundred years” earlier this week, Ball took to his Instagram account to respond. “Let me tell you something: I know I’m on the right step because if nothing ain’t happen like this in 100 years, guess what? We in a new lane, baby,” said Ball in a video. “That Big Baller Brand about to be your competition.”
LaVar says: “So I’m the worst thing that happened in 100 years? That’s because everybody been in the darkness for 100 years, but you know how this bothers me? Not at all. Big Baller’s chicken. Big Baller’s barbecue. Call it what you want. “But George Raveling, you the worst man to be a best man. That’s what I heard. How you gonna go to a guy’s wedding and then stab him in the back? And you say this the worst thing I’m doing is talking and making chicken? “Let me tell you something, I know I’m on the right step because if nothing like this ain’t happen in 100 years, then guess what? We in a new lane, baby. That Big Baller Brand about to be your competition.”
“Realistically you can’t win no championship with three white guys because the foot speed is too slow,” LaVar Ball said. “I told Lonzo – ‘One of these games you might need to go for 30 or 40 points.’ It turned out the that was the one game. Then once they get to the Elite 8, they’re right there.”
A day after LeBron James told him to “keep my kids’ name out of your mouth,” LaVar Ball doubled down on his opinion that the children of star athletes don’t themselves become star athletes. “I gave an opinion on what I felt about no superstars’ kids really being superstars and the fact that they have to live up to their parents or to their fathers or whatever. I have yet to see one, and I’ve been around for 50 years,” Ball said in an interview with SiriusXM’s “Full Ride” on Wednesday. “Have you seen one where the superstar’s son is just as good or better than him? I said a superstar. I ain’t saying just a regular player. I’m talking about a guy who we picture as an icon — a Dr. J, an Allen Iverson, a LeBron James. If somebody asks me a question, I’m gonna give them an answer.”
Not content to just reiterate his point, Ball also went on the offensive against James on Wednesday. “I don’t care what LeBron said,” Ball said. “He talking about he warned me. He warned me for what? What is a warning going to do? Nothing.”
Appearing Tuesday on FOX Sports Radio’s JT “The Brick” with Tomm Looney show, Ball reiterated his comments about LeBron’s sons just hours after the Cleveland Cavaliers star asked that he keep his family out of it. “I have no problem with LeBron, they asked me a question about if I thought superstar players’ kids were good. My opinion is I’ve never seen one that’s been really good. LeBron is going to make his kids one of the best players ever according to him.”
The full interview is well worth your time, but LaVar goes on to say that he’s not going to change his ways, no matter who he offends. “I don’t care, they not going to stop me from doing what I’m doing. If they get a little touchy about it, who cares,” Ball said. “They’re not gonna do nothing to me and I’m not gonna do nothing to them, it’s not a big deal.”
The Bruins kicked off their NCAA run Friday night with a convincing 97-80 win over Kent State, and Lonzo, to his credit, hasn’t let the surrounding noise get to him. But Ball’s father seems to have already turned his attention to the NBA. “Why shouldn’t they (pick Lonzo first)? … If you’ve got a kid who makes everybody better, you mean to tell me you wouldn’t take him over a guy that’s just averaging 40 points and does all this stuff and losing? The key to the game is winning. If you want a winner, you pick my boy,” LaVar told TMZ.
Fultz, whose Washington Huskies didn’t make the tournament, averaged just over 23 points and nearly six rebounds and assists this season. The Huskies were just 9-22 on the season, and Fultz has already announced his intention to go pro. Despite Fultz’s gaudy numbers, Ball’s father, unsurprisingly, continued stumping for his son. “Look what he did to UCLA. They 15-17 last year. You bring one dude and change the culture, that’s what you want,” he said. “He’s going to go to the Lakers. Watch. The Lakers gonna get that ball, and then they gonna get that Ball.”
In the interview, Ball was asked about the pressure that comes to sons of former great players. He used the question as a soapbox to claim that LeBron James’ sons essentially don’t stand much of a chance to emerge as basketball stars. As noted by 247 Sports, here’s the full context of the elder Ball’s quote: Here’s the thing, you gotta play the odds and the percentages,” said Ball. “There’s been a lot of great players, and all of their sons are whack.” “Kareem’s got sons, Jordan’s got sons, Shaq’s got sons.” “His son is pretty good too,” said Broussard.
“His son is alright,” Ball quickly interjected. “…the monsters in the NBA, their dads wasn’t that good. They were OK, 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.”
During the interview, Ball also said he is prepared to package Lonzo and his two other sons — LiAngelo, a high school senior who has signed with UCLA, and LaMelo, a high school sophomore who has committed to UCLA — for a marketing deal with Nike, Adidas or Under Armour. “A billion dollars, it has to be there,” Ball said. “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.”
The Ball boys already are riding in style — at least the two that have driver’s licenses. Lonzo and LiAngelo each drive $100,000 BMWs, said Ball, who is a self-employed personal trainer and whose wife, Tina, is a middle school physical education teacher. “To get my boys a little $100,000 car, that’s nothing,’’ he said. “I don’t have to pay for education. I’m saving over $1 million dollars.”
If you thought LaVar Ball sounded outrageous when he said his son Lonzo, a freshman point guard at UCLA, is better than Steph Curry, well, you haven’t heard anything yet. “Back in my heyday, I would kill Michael Jordan one-on-one,’’ said Ball, the 49-year-old basketball dad who is 6-6 and 270 pounds and has a mouth to match his size. The mouth was motoring during a recent interview with USA TODAY Sports while LaVar Ball stood in the kitchen of his home here, about 35 miles east of Los Angeles and heaven only knows how far from reality.
It’s worth noting that Ball played basketball for Washington State during the 1987-88 season and averaged 2.2 points, 2.3 rebounds a game before transferring to Cal-State Los Angeles in search of more playing time. Jordan, meanwhile, averaged 35 points and 5.5 rebounds for the Chicago Bulls that same season and is widely regarded as the greatest player in basketball history. “Now in a game of five-on-five, (Jordan) might do some damage, but I’m going to do some damage too,’’ Ball added.
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July 25, 2017 | 6:31 pm EDT Update
The Brooklyn Nets have acquired guard/forward Allen Crabbe from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for forward Andrew Nicholson. Crabbe joins the Nets after spending the first four seasons of his NBA career with Portland. In 226 games (24 starts), the 25-year-old Crabbe has registered averages of 8.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 22.8 minutes per game while shooting 45.6 percent from the field, 41.1 percent from 3-point range and 84.8 percent from the free-throw line.
Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has re-signed forward Troy Williams. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Rockets originally signed Williams to a 10-day contract on March 10, before securing him for the remainder of 2016-17. In six games with three starts as a Rocket, Williams averaged 9.7 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 50.0% from the floor and 38.1% from 3-point range. He had a career-high 21 points while shooting 6-of-9 from behind-the-arc in his Rockets debut at Phoenix on April 2.
The drama between LeBron James and Kyrie Irving appears headed to an ugly breakup, and in this age of social media, a breakup isn’t official until the “unfollow” button is clicked. On Tuesday, NBA fans took notice to the fact that Kyrie Irving isn’t following LeBron James on Instagram. While it’s impossible to tell if Irving unfollowed LeBron without an earlier screenshot, it’s definitely suspect as Irving follows his other Cavaliers teammates.