Everything you need to know about Lavar Ball
If you don’t know who the Ball family are then the chances are fairly high that you’re also not a Big Baller. Or, at least that’s what Lavar Ball would like to think. An individual more meme than man, the former basketball player-cum-hype man-cum-businessman has been all over the media for the past few months as a result of his rather avid support of his incredibly talented progeny. As father to his talented sons LaMelo, LiAngelo, and Lonzo Ball – the latter of whom was recently picked second overall in the NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers and is generally considered to be the future of the franchise – one can easily forgive Lavar for being proud of his boys. What’s slightly less forgivable is the opportunistic way he’s used them as the poster boys of his burgeoning Big Baller Brand.
However, following Lavar’s bizarre yet strangely brilliant appearance on WWE Raw, there’s no denying that Lavar’s unconventional business plan seems to be working. As a result of Lavar making a fool of himself time and time again on national television, the Big Baller Brand truly seems to be the name on everyone’s lips. The fact that those lips are often pursed tight in order to avert a tumultuous fit of laughter is beside the point. In the world of Lavar Ball (which we’re slowly starting to realise is the very same media-obsessed world we all inhabit) no publicity is bad publicity. The aforementioned WWE segment has already amassed over a million views on YouTube. Something not all too surprising considering that Lavar’s larger than life personality seems far more suited to the wrestling ring as opposed to the basketball court.
Whether he’s spawning catchphrases such as “Stay in yo lane” or making statements so hubristic that they’d put Faust to shame, Lavar’s smack-talking skill seems to be the only thing able to surpass the athletic ability of his sons. On one occasion Ball the Elder even went as far as to claim he could “kill” Michael Jordan in a one-on-one basketball contest. Something many found a little hard to believe considering that the Big Baller’s own basketball career peaked around the diminutive heights of the NCAA Division II.
Regardless of his own somewhat disappointing foray into professional sports, Ball’s sons do all seem destined for big things. Lonzo has already signed a deal with the Lakers and the impressive high-school careers of both LaMelo and LiAngelo thus far would suggest that they may end up following in their older brother’s footsteps. So perhaps Lavar’s promotion of his children (a promotion that undoubtedly does border on exploitation) as part of his Big Baller Brand isn’t necessarily the worst idea in the world. Though we would also question the sanity of any man who lets his son get a haircut like this:
Described on the Big Baller website as “a Lifestyle Apparel company founded on core family values, and inspired by the three Ball brothers from Chino Hills, California”, it does seem like Lavar has put his family’s future in his best interests with this business venture. Even if LiAngelo and LaMelo don’t end up becoming NBA athletes, there’s always the possibility that the Big Baller Brand will become successful enough that they never have to work a day in their lives. In saying that, this outcome does appear to be a very slim possibility once you delve into the horror of the Big Baller branding. The array of sweaters, shirts, shoes, and hats have been criticised for being over-priced and vastly under-whelming. Not that that’s stopped Lavar from estimating the worth of the Big Baller Brand to be roughly a billion dollars.
Stating on their website that the brand’s “mission” is “to provide a clothing line that is a reflection of what every Big Baller in the world expresses through what they wear” also brings us to the question of “what exactly is a Big Baller?” Well, we’re not actually sure (and we doubt that even Lavar himself has got the definition down-pat), but what we can tell you for certain is that someone who can’t afford a pair of the Big Baller Brand’s $500 ‘ZO2: SHO'TIME!’ shoes is most definitely NOT a Big Baller.
Big Baller's loose! If you can't afford the ZO2'S, you're NOT a BIG BALLER! — Lavar Ball (@Lavarbigballer) May 4, 2017
Using the recent draft of Lonzo to the Lakers as an ample occasion to showcase these gaudy trainers – dubbed as “a first class fit for any collection” – there’s no doubt that the Big Baller Brand is going to be around as long as Lonzo and his brothers remain in the spotlight. While the argument that Lavar Ball is damaging the stock of his family by hyping the talents of his sons up to a degree that no mortal could ever achieve is a completely valid one, it’s also fairly likely that we wouldn’t be talking about the Balls at all if it wasn’t for the Big Baller Brand and Lavar’s cacophonous loudmouth.
Yes, Lavar Ball does come across as absolutely bats*** insane and his antics are likely more than a little painful for his children to endure – the pained expression on both of his sons’ faces in the following promotional image will probably tell you all you need to know about that:
In spite of all his insanity, we think it’s important to remember that Lavar Ball is also a dad and that embarrassing your children is just something that dads do. Charging $60 for such an ugly t-shirt though? That’s just inexcusable.