Hate him or love him, LaVar Ball is a marketing genius. He’s the Vince McMahon of basketball and the Donald Trump of sports. His meteoric rise to the spotlight was spurned by an endless number of outlandish, polarizing statements. He’s boastful and unapologetically brash in his relentless pursuit of “eternal wealth”, or as he puts it, “have his kid’s kids be trust fund babies.”
There’s nothing he won’t say or do to achieve it. So far, he’s succeeding. For one, he’s the most popular sports dad of all time. He promoted his youngest son LaMelo — a junior in high school — to the point where more than 80,000 people tuned in to watch him play an AAU basketball game. LaVar has appeared on almost a dozen talk shows. His “Big Baller Brand”, the one that everyone said would never succeed? Well, it’s doing just fine. Say what you will about him, but he’s got you, me and the rest of the basketball community by the Balls. Here’s why:
“Stay in your lane”
The Big Baller Brand, with all its inflated prices, was recently valued at $3 billion (of course, only by LaVar). It’s not apparel for serious basketball players but rather a high-end clothing line built for the trend chasers who can afford to be “Big Ballers.” The success of the brand is largely dependent on how Lonzo performs at the next level. If he impresses, people will buy Big Baller clothing.
Ellen Degeneres invited Lonzo and LaVar onto her show where she questioned big Ball about the brand and its expensive shoes. LaVar was asked to explain his comment about people who couldn’t afford the shoes not being “Big Ballers” and he said people were taking it the wrong way, that not being a “Big Baller” wasn’t a shot at the underprivileged but rather at people who lacked the dedication and “discipline” to go out and work for that shoe. Ellen wasn’t buying, but who cares. LaVar already won just by being there.
Stephen A. Smith found a new best friend
It appeared as though Stephen A. Smith found a kindred spirit in LaVar Ball. Smith invited Ball onto First Take where the two heatedly debated everything from his brand to his outlandish comments. It was a match made in heaven.
He caught Shaq’s attention
LaVar Ball sparked a Twitter feud with Shaquille O’Neal after he claimed he and his son Lonzo could beat Shaq and his son Sharieff in a game of two-on-two. Shaq fired back at LaVar, with a series of social media posts and a diss track. In a vacuum, Shaq probably won the fight. When you consider the fact that a four-time NBA Champion was compelled by a glorified sports dad, that “W” looks more like an “L.”