Posts Tagged ‘LaVar Ball’

Dennis Rodman still pops up now and then, including on a TMZ video Monday. Asked for his opinion on LiAngelo Ball’s game, the “Worm” didn’t mince words.

“He is not good at all,” Rodman said. “He’s awful. He’s just awful.”

The middle brother of Lonzo and LaMelo recently declared for June’s NBA draft, where he’s not anticipated to be selected. Rodman, however, thinks he has a small chance of being picked, and credits the very invention that helped make the Balls famous as a potential impetus.

“Just because of social media, I’d say a 10 percent chance,” Rodman said.

The Hall of Famer wasn’t particularly impressed by LiAngelo’s 72-point performance in Lithuania, either.

“Teams over there just pretty much suck,” he said.

Cue LaVar.

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LiAngelo Ball has declared for the 2018 NBA Draft, his agent, Harrison Gaines, told Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania.

The 19-year-old Ball has filed his early-entry paperwork and is reportedly expected to participate in the Pro Basketball Combine at IMG Academy in May in front of NBA executives.

LaVar Ball, LiAngelo’s father, withdrew his son from UCLA in December to pursue opportunities overseas with LiAngelo’s younger brother, LaMelo. The two signed with an agent shortly after and joined Lithuanian club BC Vytautas.

The 6-foot-5 guard is averaging 15.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, and shooting 45 percent on 60 3-pointers over nine games in the Lithuanian league.

The Big Baller Brand’s LaVar Ball is making a big proclamation.

Despite all of the roster changes the Cleveland Cavaliers recently underwent in an attempt to turn their season around and possibly sway LeBron James to re-sign, LaVar remains in the mindset that the four-time league Most Valuable Player will ultimately end up playing with Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers next season.

“Who said it was a rumor? Didn’t I tell you he was coming in? Trust me when I tell you,” LaVar said to TMZ Sports upon entering his pop-up shop in Los Angeles.

LaVar even feels a player with James’ credentials and ability will benefit from suiting up next to someone like his son.

“Lonzo will make him a better player,” he added.

Should they join forces, LaVar already has a nickname worked out for a potential LeBron-Lonzo pairing: “Ball Stars.”

The Cavaliers shipped Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye to Los Angeles prior to the trade deadline, which will clear an added $13.6 million in cap space for the Lakers this summer. This means the organization can potentially sign two max-contract free agents, and that could entice James to ultimately make the jump to the Western Conference.

Lonzo, meanwhile, has been sidelined with a sprained MCL in his left knee since Jan. 15. He’s averaging 10.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 7.1 assists on 35.6 percent shooting from the field his rookie year.

As LaVar Ball oversees his youngest two sons’ professional basketball debut in Lithuania, his image stateside is taking a further battering. The hoops patriarch has been served with a lawsuit over money allegedly owed to a company that worked on embroidery for Ball’s Big Baller Brand apparel products.

Ball has not paid $25,000 owed to Closet Connection, a lawyer told USA Today’s A.J. Perez. “We haven’t even heard from him,” attorney Michael Sayer said.

The Big Baller Brand faced ridicule in many quarters after its launch last year, given the $495 price tag attached to Lonzo Ball‘s signature shoe, the ZO2. Recently, it has come to light that BBB has the lowest possible rating on the Better Business Bureau’s customer satisfaction grading system.

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr sees the public fawning over LaVar Ball as part of a bigger and more troubling trend.

Kerr compared the Ball family to the Kardashians as part of a larger critique of the media after LaVar slammed Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton.

“Somewhere, I guess in Lithuania, LaVar Ball is laughing. People are eating out of his hands for no apparent reason, other than that he’s become the Kardashian of the NBA or something,” Kerr said, according to Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle.

“That sells, and that’s what is true in politics, entertainment, and now sports. It doesn’t matter if there’s any substance involved in an issue.”

The Balls, like the Kardashians, have their own reality TV shows since people seem to hang on their every move. While they receive no shortage of negative public feedback, they still manage to stay relevant.

“This is not a condemnation of ESPN,” Kerr added. “It’s not. It’s a societal issue. It’s been going on for many, many years, and it’s really, I think, invading the sports world now.”

If there’s one true negative to LaVar Ball’s antics, it’s the fact that his 20-year-old son has to answer for some of them as an NBA rookie. And some in the Los Angeles Lakers organization are concerned about the toll that is taking on Lonzo Ball, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.

In LaVar’s most disruptive stunt yet as far as the Lakers are concerned, he suggested over the weekend that the team has checked out on head coach Luke Walton. That ignited a firestorm of backlash against the senior Ball, while his son attempted to distance himself from the remarks.

A source told Shelburne that Lonzo is more concerned with improving as a player than getting involved in controversy manufactured by his father, something he’s alluded to in the past.

“That is just his opinion,” Ball said of LaVar’s remarks Sunday, via the OC Register’s Bill Oram. “(LaVar) has coached me his whole life. So, he is definitely going to have a strong opinion about it. That’s just what it is.”

Ball has been shooting better since the beginning of December after a rough start. His court vision remains strong, averaging seven assists per game.

The Lakers have already asked LaVar to tone down public criticism of Walton, and have tried to mitigate the media circus around him at the Staples Center by keeping reporters away from him.

LaVar Ball’s list of detractors grows longer by the day.

Hall of Famer Charles Barkley is the latest to take aim at the controversial major domo of the Ball household, calling the 50-year-old father of Lakers rookie Lonzo and Lithuanian-bound teenagers LiAngelo and LaMelo untalented and exploitative on ESPN’s Golic and Wingo show.

Barkley pulled no punches in assessing Ball’s parenting skills and motivations:

I just feel sadness that the media – CNN, ESPN – has given this guy a platform. He represents everything that is bad about sports. It’s all about him. I just feel bad for those kids. Everybody talks about how he might be a good father, this and that. No he’s not; he’s just exploiting his kids. I love the kid playing for the Lakers. I don’t know about the other two kids. (LaVar) is all about “Big Baller Brand.” He has no foreseeable talent. He’s trying to make money on his kids, and I just feel sadness for those kids because they’re going to do whatever he tells them to do. I just don’t like the guy at all, plain and simple. And don’t tell me he’s a good father. Just because you exploit your kids, trying to make money because you have no talent, that does not make you a good father. That makes you exploiting your kids. And I don’t like the guy at all. And I wish they would quit putting him on television, because he has no talent whatsoever.