I love the spectacle of a ridiculous sports dad. It makes for great, WWE-style entertainment off the field and really puts into perspective how lucky you are to not have fucking lunatics for parents. My personal favorite was former Illini quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase’s dad, who used to go to games and scream obnoxious shit like “WHO’S HOUSE? SCHEEL-HAASE!” after every successful three-yard out and who once got arrested for being hammered and trying to fight five other guys in the stands at Memorial Stadium. He was subsequently banned from the University of Illinois campus, which is an impressive feat considering the legions of seemingly larger assholes who descend upon that town from other schools every weekend and end up not getting perma-banned despite not being able to handle their liquor.
But no sports dad holds a candle to LaVar Ball, father of UCLA freshman Lonzo and two other boys in high school who are also committed to UCLA. This dude is a quote machine every time he opens his mouth. Take, for example, his simple strategy for taking down an in-his-prime Michael Jordan in a game of one-on-one.
From USA Today:
“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.
“I would just back (Jordan) in and lift him off the ground and call a foul every time he fouls me when I do a jump hook to the right or the left,” Ball said. “He cannot stop me one-on-one. He better make every shot ’cause he can’t go around me. He’s not fast enough. And he can only make so many shots outside before I make every bucket under the rim.”
Setting aside the fact that LaVar is apparently the guy who calls fouls during pickup games, I love how matter-of-factly this was stated. LaVar mostly rode the bench during his basketball career at Washington State and he figured out how to stop Jordan. Why wasn’t the rest of the NBA able to back in the ’90s? Shit; no wonder his kids are so good.
But it’s serving as a business liaison for his kids that marks LaVar as the gold standard for sports dads. Any father can claim their kid is better than Steph Curry or try to will his son onto the Lakers’ roster next year through spoken word and conjuration. That’s all just lip service. LaVar, though, is the living embodiment of “I’m not a businessman; I’m a business, man.” He’s out here trying to broker a BILLION DOLLAR shoe deal for his kids. Again, from USA Today:
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.”
Yeah, just fork over a casual hundred mil every year for the next decade, nbd. Won’t even listen to other offers. None of his kids are even in the league yet and LaVar is already making power moves for endorsements.
And make no mistake, he is ONLY looking out for his kids. When he goes to UCLA games, he doesn’t wear any official school gear, only threads from the family’s apparel line Big Baller Brands. I have no doubt he doesn’t cheer on any of the other kids on the team, either. LaVar’s just trying to grow the brand. We here at Grandex certainly respect that hustle.
I hope there’s a sideline reporter sitting next to LaVar during the NCAA Tournament games at all times so that someone’s on hand to hear him call UCLA coach Steve Alford an asshole for not running isolation plays with Lonzo on every single possession or talk about how every other player on the court sucks. This dude is incredibly entertaining, and I can’t get enough of him. While all the other parents are being “respectful” and “demonstrating good sportsmanship,” LaVar just wants to talk shit and get his boys rich. Business and ballin’– that’s what LaVar Ball does..
[via USA Today]
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