The jury is still out on whether or not Lonzo Ball will go on to be a superstar in the NBA, but he seems far more likely than not to be one of the first players off the board in the NBA Draft. With that selection will come a nice contract from an NBA franchise, but sponsorship money could be a little bit of a different story, and it’s all LaVar Ball’s fault.
LaVar Ball, Lonzo’s father, has floated the idea he wants a $1 billion contract with some apparel company to cover his three sons, which is absurd on so many levels. The elder Ball has not stopped short of selling out his talented offspring in the hopes of taking the Big Baller Brand to the next level, but his outlandish comments and statements have left some companies a bit turned off by the idea of making any deals with the Ball family.
Speaking of LaVar Ball, Nike executive George Raveling says the basketball father starved for attention is one of the worst things to happen in the sport in quite some time. A century, to be exact.
Wow, veteran Nike exec George Raveling on LaVar Ball: “The worst thing to happen to basketball in the last hundred years.” #sbjwcs
— Michael Smith (@SmittySBJSBD) April 20, 2017
Of course, as noted by CBS Sports, Nike co-founder Phil Knight left the door open to the possibility of adding Lonzo Ball to the Nike roster of star athletes.
“It’s a little steep,” Knight previously said of the $1 billion contract floated by LaVar Ball. “[Lonzo Ball]’s an awfully great player. Yeah, we have an interest.”
I did not do the research, nor am I going to, but based on the empirical evidence I have accumulated through the years there seems to be a reason to be concerned any time the parents are getting overly involved in the contracts of their children in the professional sports world.
Sometimes it may work out, like the Manning family essentially sending Eli Manning to the New York Giants instead of the San Diego Chargers, but sometimes the family just gets in the way of an otherwise potentially great career. For example, the Lindros family couldn’t help but lock horns with the management of the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1990s.
We could be traveling down that path once again with LaVar Ball and whatever NBA team drafts Lonzo Ball. LaVar Ball has already made it clear he wants his son to play for the Los Angeles Lakers, but if the Lakers pass, could there be some battles to wage elsewhere?
You better believe that is a real possibility. On top of that, LaVar Ball may either be a part of the reason Lonzo Ball doesn’t sign an endorsement deal as early as he could, or one for as much as he could be worth.
My advice to Lonzo? Get a good agent that doesn’t share your last name, and trust them to do your dirty work.