LaVar Ball has become a bit of a phenomenon within the media since his son Lonzo gained national recognition at UCLA.
As a complete loose-cannon with no filter whatsoever, LaVar has said some cringeworthy things and has made some outlandish requests at the helm of his Big Baller Brand.
Now you can add this to the list.
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Lonzo’s dad reportedly rejected a $10 million shoe deal from their initial meetings with Nike, Adidas and Under Armour in the hopes of landing a more lucrative offer, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
"We said Tiger (Woods) might be the next Jordan taking over, but there is no next Jordan in basketball or probably no next Jordan anywhere," Rovell said. "I know that's going to disappoint LaVar Ball, but I think you have to say that."
Turning down the deal essentially meant that Lonzo will be missing out on a deal that could have doubled his rookie salary.
Rovell expressed that he’s surprised LaVar hasn’t changed his tune since the Lakers landed the No. 2 pick. Since Markelle Fultz is projected to be the top pick and Lonzo’s camp has been adamant that he wants to end up in Los Angeles, the marketing opportunities will be real and lucrative in the near future if he hears his name called by his favorite team at No. 2.
"It's strange to me that LaVar didn't at least fold some of his cards and go back to the shoe companies in earnest," he said. "After the Lakers thing goes down and the perfect scenario is going to unfold, the new deal, Nike (to) five years and $20 million. But what does LaVar Ball do? Instead of saying he now wants $1 billion, he now wants $3 billion."
As for those $495 sneakers without the backing of a major brand? The business reporter didn’t see anything wrong with the price and gave a compelling argument that backed it up.
“People don’t want to give him credit for the fact that he was not dumb to create this $500 shoe, which is coming out on Nov. 24, because he has to order the shoes, because he’s not going to have it in a discount store, because it’s custom-ordered, and he could make a small order, and that’s $500,” Rovell explained.
He continued, "It’s basically the least he could have it, because if only five people ordered shoes, it might be $300 a pair to make, so he’s figured that out. He’s smarter than people give him credit for, and he’s a better talker than people give him credit for."
While his delivery is overbearing at times, LaVar has everyone talking about him. We will see if Lonzo’s draft stock will take a hit from his father’s overwhelming presence, but the situation will likely continue to be fascinating from a business and marketing perspective leading up to and after draft day.