Diamond Leung‏: LaVar Ball on sending ZO2s to Donald …

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Ball, who was up at 5 a.m. local time Saturday to watch his son Lonzo Ball in his first game back with the Lakers since suffering a sprained shoulder on Dec. 23, expressed his frustration with Walton in an exclusive interview with ESPN. "You can see they're not playing for Luke no more," Ball said from a spa resort in Birstonas, where he is staying while his two youngest sons, LiAngelo and LaMelo, get ready to make their professional debuts with Lithuanian team Prienu Vytautas. "Luke doesn't have control of the team no more. They don't want to play for him."
"That's a good team," he added of the Lakers, who have lost nine straight games. "Nobody wants to play for him. I can see it. No high-fives when they come out of the game. People don't know why they're in the game. He's too young. He's too young. ... He ain't connecting with them anymore. You can look at every player, he's not connecting with not one player."
Lavar Ball also said he is confident that LeBron James, whom he has never met, will be coming to the Lakers this offseason as a free agent. "LeBron's coming to L.A. I know he's coming to L.A.," Ball said. "LeBron is not a fool. What's the only way he can beat Jordan? You can't get more championships. Only one way, to say every team I've gone to I've won a championship. Go to Lakers and win a championship, then you're better than Jordan.
During a press conference in Lithuania, LaVar Ball was asked to sign a Lakers hat and write the date that all three Ball brothers would be playing together in Los Angeles. "Melo is… 16, that’s going to be two years. 2020.” Ball was asked to clarify when LaMelo, his youngest son, would make it to the NBA, and the Big Baller made an even more shocking prediction. “The youngest one [in two years], that’s what I’m talking about. Gelo will be this year… this June. Gelo will be there.”
LaVar Ball: "It's OK. Sportscasters, they've got a job to do and like I tell them, 'I'm controversial.' You've got to say something about me, whether it be good or bad. Some folks like Charles Barkley, Cris Carter and others, I don't talk to them anymore. So if they call me on them shows now and say, 'Oh, LaVar, can you talk to me?' No, I'm not going to talk to you. 'Why?' Because I don't have to now. Like I tell writers and stuff, 'Write what you want. I don't care whether it be good or bad, but you've got to suffer the consequences.' Like Jeff Goodman, I talk to him all the time, ever since he's interviewed my boys when they were in high school. But he doesn't do that stuff like Stephen A. Smith. I was cool with him for a minute until I've seen his MO, his, 'Ah, I like LaVar, but I don't like the fact that he does this and he does that.' It's like this: If I don't want to talk to nobody, I don't have to talk to them. And that's what they don't get. Here's the thing what they've got to understand: Is it worth all that?
LaVar Ball: You're going to have to talk to me because I've got three boys and they've got all the same agent. So it's better to be on the good side than the bad side. Like Charles Barkley, he's been talking crazy. 'LaVar is a bad father, this and that.' And I'm just, like, 'Don't even talk about Gelo going to China because you've been in jail in Arizona. You have kids that you don't even talk about. You have a daughter nobody knows about.' A lot of things he's done bad. I was a fan of Charles because of how hard he played. And now, he's doing all this talking like Stephen A. Smith.
LaVar Ball: "The market is going to be good here because now, we're not just Big Baller Brand around the corner. We're in Lithuania, and that means you're global. And when you get global, now you've got Europeans liking you, the states liking you, over in China liking you. We're bigger than just a Nike brand that's in Portland. You see what I'm saying? So we can be as big as we want to be by us venturing out and not having a bad name for our brand. And see, that's what it is. It's just getting bigger and bigger. It's going to be some good connections out here. I think the connections that we have here are going to happen organically. They're not going to be predetermined, and we're just going to go from there."
LaVar Ball didn’t wait long to start picking up the local language in Lithuania. Within his first day in Prienai, the Big Baller Brand CEO was already working on phrases to help him navigate through the nation with his family while LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball begin their professional basketball careers with Prienu Vytautas. “Boy, you guys are teaching the Big Baller language already. See, that’s what I’m talking about,” he coos for the cameras. “Soon as we touch down, let’s learn something.”
Ball admits there's a lot of work to do to get the league ready. No venues have been rented and ticket prices haven't been set. He also doesn't have any players yet; the league won't include his sons LiAngelo and LaMelo, who have signed with Prienai Birstonas Vytautas in Lithuania. The logo for the league features a silhouette of Ball's son Lonzo, who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, going to the hoop for a dunk. "We don't need a logo of a guy dribbling," Ball said, in an obvious reference to the NBA's famous Jerry West silhouette. "Nobody does that anymore."
"Getting these players is going to be easy," LaVar Ball told ESPN. "This is giving guys a chance to get a jump start on their career, to be seen by pro scouts, and we're going to pay them because someone has to pay these kids."
Bill Oram: Before MSG security kicked us out, LaVar said he had "a great conversation" with Lakers. "What I love about them is just the communication we have as a family and as friends," he said. "To fix the situation & just solutions that we throw off each other. And that's all it is."
LaVar Ball confirmed the meeting took place, telling ESPN, "It was the best thing, man. Everybody's going to try to make it an ego thing, like I'm trying to tell them what to do, or they're trying to tell me to tone it down. It's not about that. It's about coming together and to get a solution to this problem.”
“If he invited me to the White House, and if he had some Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, I might come,” LaVar said during an appearance on “The Ringer NBA Show” podcast with Juliet Litman. “But if he doing the cooking, I ain’t coming. I need somebody that know how to cook there if he going to invite me to the White House.” “I want some good food,” the Ballfather went on. “I’m not coming there to do no talking. I’m coming there to eat dinner first and then talk.”
LaVar Ball said his oldest son, Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, is "disgusted" with how the team has been playing. And the outspoken father blamed the Lakers' recent struggles on how the coaching staff has been utilizing his son. The Knicks announced he would be reevaluated after two weeks, didn’t give a concrete timetable and ominously announced he would start “a treatment and rehabilitation plan.” That language doesn’t sound like a two-week injury. A stress injury, according to medical experts, means Hardaway either has a stress reaction or, more severely, a stress fracture to either his fibula or tibia. A leading expert on basketball leg injuries, Dr. William Hsu of Northwestern, told The Post a stress reaction to those inflamed bones can put a player out two to six weeks. A stress fracture is more of a two-month process but surgery is not required.
“Yeah, I got words for Byron Scott: Shut the hell up and do what you do,” he told TMZ Sports. “Leave me alone. He ain’t doing nothing now.” Ball continued, “Tell him, if he want his name in the news, go do something. You ain’t gotta talk about ball to get your name in the news. “But then again, yes you do, ’cause ain’t nobody talk about Byron Scott doing nothing.”
LaVar Ball is now going after Lonzo Ball's teammates. After the Lakers dropped a game at home to the Warriors in overtime, LaVar Ball explained that Julius Randle should have passed the ball to his son at the end of regulation. "I'll tell you the crucial point. When Julius got that ball at the end, he should have threw it forward. Lonzo had a wide open layup! Or three-pointer. That's game! It wouldn't have went to overtime, that was game. Julius tried to take too many dribbles, then they fouled him, or they called timeout. But if he would have thrown the ball ahead, coach wouldn't have called a timeout. Even if he did, he can't call it because the ball's in the air. Lonzo's running the lane, game over. That's the best time to score."
“Check this out, I’m going to send Trump some ZO2s," Ball told TMZ. "We just got them out, man, we putting them on flight today, today is the 24th, and I said we’re shipping out ZO2s. You know what, I got to ship some to Trump so he can calm down a little bit." "Them ZO2s is coming for you Trump. Remember you put them on, you're going to ease up a little bit."
Lonzo Ball has shown the ability to both run a team and contribute defensively, but the obvious complaint is his 31.3 percent shooting from the field, coupled with 22.8 percent from three-point range. For LaVar Ball, it's not about efficiency but results. "Go get the W. Do whatever it takes. That's why I'm down here saying, 'Rebound,'" he continued. "He's been away from me too long. I see tendencies in his game—they're trying to baby him a little bit."
Lonzo Ball credited assistant coach Brian Shaw for urging him to hit the boards more aggressively. Both his father and the Lakers coaching staff want the same result for the point guard but have very different approaches. "They're soft. They don't know how to coach my son. I know how to coach him," LaVar Ball said. "I tell him to go get the victory. Stop messing around." Does he have a problem with coach Luke Walton? "No, I have a problem with losing," Ball responded.
Luke Walton: "As you're building, you're on that path. It's never [smooth]. It's never just you get it and all of a sudden you don't have slippage anymore. Every team goes through it. The important thing for us is that we learn from our mistakes, we keep our head up, we keep working and grinding away to get where we all want to be." That's the kind of talk LaVar Ball seems to shun. "What I mean by babying [Lonzo], 'He'll figure it out,'" Ball said. "It ain't about that. 'Be patient with him?' Ain't no patience if you're winning." "They're letting it go too easy, saying they're a young team," he continued. "Forget about that! Put the [onus] on them. Say, 'You guys need to win. You've got enough talent. Win some games.'"
Ohm Youngmisuk: LaVar Ball reiterated there's no reason for him to thank President Trump in the case of his son, LiAngelo, and two other UCLA freshmen returning to the U.S. after being held in China for shoplifting. "You heard what he tweeted," Ball said of Trump during an interview on CNN. "He tweeted because he is mad at me [that] I should have left their asses in jail. First of all, they weren't in jail, they were in a hotel. How did they get into a hotel? Somebody had to do something. Did he do it? If he paid for the money to put up whatever we needed to do then I would say thank you. Did he do that?... He said he helped. How did he help? If he helped, I would say thank you... Do I think the president helped? I don't know. I don't care and I don't know." Ball did thank Chinese President Xi Jinping.
"There has to be something ... look (laughs), you're the president of the United States, the leader of the free world, there has to be something more important than getting into it with LaVar Ball or Marshawn Lynch," Van Gundy told reporters. "I mean, there just has to be something else that you can be spending your time on as president. "I don't know. I don't know what it is. I don't know, North Korea, trade pacts ... there just has to be something. It just can't be at the top of your priority list, I wouldn't think. But obviously, it is."
"You see Gortat, he put [Wall] in trouble like that. Don't put no pressure on your point guard like that," LaVar told Bleacher Report after the Lakers' 102-99 overtime victory over Washington. "He's not me. Lonzo, I've been telling him since he's been a baby. It's easy to him." "I already knew what was going to happen. Like I tried to tell you all, he won't be losing two games," LaVar said. "Even if I'm wrong or right, you know what I'm going to do? Go get me some donuts and go back to sleep."

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The Lakers host Washington on Wednesday, and LaVar said that the Wizards "better beware because Lonzo ain't losing again. Not in the same week." On Monday, Wizards center Marcin Gortat took notice to the video and offered his own Twitter commentary on the NBA's most outlandish parent.
Gortat quickly responded that John Wall would torture Lonzo for 48 minutes on Wednesday. When a fan commented about the pressure LaVar puts on Lonzo, Gortat said that LaVar will "kill his son one day."
LaVar Ball fired back at Patrick Beverley after the LA Clippers guard shouted an obscenity as he walked into the locker room that was presumed to be about Lonzo Ball. After the Clippers routed the Los Angeles Lakers 108-92 and held Ball to three points, four assists and nine rebounds in his debut, Beverley was heard screaming, "weak ass m-----f-----. Bring him out on the court with me and I will tear his ass up," as he walked off the court and into the locker room. "Yeah, you shut the m-----f----- down," LaVar Ball told ESPN after the game. "And your check still ain't going to go no higher than what it is. Yeah, you shut him down. OK ... Who is Patrick Beverley? He played all last year and nobody said nothing about him. Now we are looking at your first game. Why? Because Lonzo's name is attached to it.
"One game. OK, you still don't have your own shoe, you are still not your own boss," he continued. "I know why you are looking at me. And you want to tell me that I got your son! Well I got two more you can try to get some of, too. They will be here, don't worry about it. I don't worry about one game."

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"I'm going to make him the best basketball player ever," LaVar said. "It's good for Melo," LaVar said. "Less distractions. He just needs to focus." The next time people will be able to see LaMelo play is next spring in travel ball."They'll have to sit back and wait," LaVar said.

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Well, OK then, LaVar. But there's just one problem: LeBron plays for the Cavaliers. Not for long, according to LaVar. He's convinced LeBron will join Lonzo in Los Angeles next season: "I know it's gonna happen," Ball said. "Let's just keep it real on the business aspect. [LeBron] is one of the best players probably, over Jordan ... but the fact is he hasn't won enough. You been to the Finals too many times and haven't won enough. "But the other thing that makes you better is if you do a three-peat and you won for three different teams. You went to Miami and won. You went to Cleveland and won. Now come to L.A. and win, and guess what? Now you're the greatest player ever if you win two or three in a row.
Reiter then followed up with the question on everyone's mind: If LeBron comes to L.A. to join Lonzo, whose team will it be? "Whose team is it? Man, everybody know whose team it is -- it's Lonzo Ball's team! LeBron's coming over here to join us. We ain't going over there to join him! If you come to my house, and you need somewhere to stay -- it ain't your house because you came here to stay. It's my house!"
LaVar said, calling out the NCAA: “The only thing they worried about is the money. How you thinking about not saying that the shoe look good or nothing like that? The first thing they’re trying to say is. ‘How can we make him ineligible?’ This has never happened before. So, you don’t even have a rule for it. You’re trying to find one. To say, ‘Yo, we gotta make him ineligible because he can’t be making money off a shoe.'”
He continued: “See here’s the thing, he’s not even in the NCAA and they’re trying to make something. He’s got two more years! So why even worry about that right now? But here’s the thing, when it comes to basketball and you’re good, you just better be ready for training camp … Who cares? He won’t go to the NCAA. ‘Oh, he better go overseas.’ Why? All he gotta do is be faster and stronger. And when it’s time to prepare, we could sit out for as long as we want.”
In a totally precedented move, outspoken basketball dad LaVar Ball has said something ridiculous. The latest on his Big Baller Brand, according to Slam, comes via a live Instagram question and answer session in which he discussed making his own signature shoe. "I just don’t know when I’m coming out with it yet. ‘The LaVar-iccis!’ Holler at your boy! But I will give you a tip," Ball said. "Make sure you save your money because they’re gonna be $1,500 or more. Cause I’m gonna design them and they’re gonna be fly. My bad—they’re gonna be baller-ized."
Tania Ganguli: LaMelo Ball is committed to UCLA. His dad said if it comes down to college eligibility or having his own shoe? "He's going to have a shoe."
Baxter Holmes: LaVar worried LaMelo’s shoe will affect his NCAA eligibility? LaVar: "NCAA ain’t going to tell me s---t. Because they’re not my boss."
The move, having a signature shoe for a high school junior, raised eyebrows and the specter of whether LaMelo, who is committed to UCLA, would lose his eligibility for college. And if they have to choose between LaMelo playing in college or having his own shoe? “He’s going to have a shoe,” LaVar said. “NCAA ain’t going to tell me [anything]. Because they’re not my boss. That’s what they do, but they’re not going to be like, ‘Oh, LaVar, you can’t bring that shoe out until we tell you.’ What? Something that I’m doing for my family? That’s mine? I’m not under no umbrella.”
LaMelo said he’s focused on high school before worrying about his college eligibility. “I’ve still got two years left, so I’ll worry about that when it gets there,” he said.
If it isn’t, if LaMelo can’t play at UCLA in two years, LaVar says he won’t send his son overseas. He’ll train him himself. “Everybody else got to go [overseas] because you’ve got to make some money,” LaVar said. “We [don’t] need to make money, we ain’t got to go nowhere. All we got to do is train. … I’m not going to make it a big deal where I’m like, Melo definitely has to go to college in order for him to succeed. You just gotta be ready to play and do your job.”
LaVar spoke with ClutchPoints this week to talk about the family’s new show on Facebook along with a few other few other topics including LeBron James potentially coming to the Los Angeles Lakers next year and whether he’d be a good fit playing alongside his son, Lonzo Ball. “Let me tell you this, it would be a great fit, and LeBron is coming to L.A,” LaVar told ClutchPoints. “What’s in Cleveland? You want to be a superstar, man. Superstar franchise. “It’s going to be like this, and I’m talking about reality. He’s going to say, ‘You know what? I went to Miami. Won a championship. Brought one back to my home town. I’m the only one to go to three different places and bring a championship.’
There’s one rumor I saw this week that I didn’t believe. Is Steve Nash working with Lonzo in any way? LB: “I’d say no. The reason I say no because if he was, my son would’ve said, ‘You know what I’m working out with Steve Nash.’ “What Steve Nash going to teach my boy? He’s short and slow, man. Come on.”
What did the Lakers say when they heard about the show? Any concerns expressed? LaVar Ball: “What did the Lakers say? They don’t got to ask me nothing. I ain’t going to ask them nothing. This thing got nothing to do with the Lakers. This is what my boys and my family do. What we do, on the outside. “As long as he [Lonzo] produce on that court and do what he suppose to do…this is what people get caught up on. ‘Oh shoot! Lamar Odom started dating Khloe Kardashian.’
Rather, the crowd was there primarily to watch the most entertaining showman in sports. "The best coach ever. That's how I describe myself," Ball told ESPN before the game. "The best coach ever. Because I said so." It didn't matter that Big Ballers lost 104-92; the crowd didn't leave disappointed. LaVar walked in surrounded by cameras and microphones, giving handshakes or acknowledgments to anyone calling out his name. People in the crowd began Snapchatting as soon as he went to sit next to Lonzo during the game before his own, and kids waited around after the game to take photos with LaVar.
"The referees were cheating," Ball said. "I can see cheating when I see it. But when I said let's go, not one of my guys turned and looked at the other guy and was like, what are we doing, what's going on? They all got their stuff. Loyalty, let's go. We go as a team, we come as a team. That's what people didn't get. They were like, 'Oh he's quitting and doesn't know the parents want to see the kids play.' They don't understand. Every kid on that team, I train. Nobody does that.
Several NBA players were in attendance, including Damian Lillard, Andrew Wiggins, Jamal Murray, Thon Maker, and LaMelo's older brother, Lonzo. LeBron James was reportedly set to sit courtside, but after talking with event personnel, The King elected to remain in his vehicle and eventually left in an effort to avoid causing more of a commotion. "They're gonna have to get a bigger venue," said LaMelo's father, LaVar, of the large crowd. "When the Big Baller Brand come to town, better get something big."
“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."
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."
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?"

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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"
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.”
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.”
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."
Storyline: LaVar Ball Quotes
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