In his first couple of years in the league, Lonzo Ball has had his father, LaVar Ball, in the limelight behind him as a prominent public voice and supporter off the court. However, things look to have taken a more serious turn over the last several months, with the New Orleans Pelicans point guard’s recent comments shedding light on his strained relationship with his father concerning the dying Big Baller Brand.
LaVar Ball’s strong BBB presence around Lonzo Ball
Since Lonzo’s freshman at UCLA, LaVar has been an omnipresent factor around his son’s basketball career off the court. The elder Ball played a huge part in helping fuel the hype around his son during his lone collegiate season.
Lonzo put together an impressive freshman campaign at UCLA that put him on the map as one of the top talents, while his father’s presence in the media through numerous interviews only further amped up his status as one of the premier NBA prospects ahead of the 2017 NBA Draft.
That, along with “speaking into existence,” his desire to be taken at the second overall pick by the Los Angeles Lakers, aided efforts to land him in his dream spot. Once there, LaVar went full force with highlighting the Big Baller Brand by releasing Lonzo’s first shoe the “ZO2” priced at $495, custom slides at $220, and $995 special edition “ZO2 Primes,” signed by Lonzo before he even played an NBA game.
Although LaVar, who some argued was bad for the NBA, operated away from his son, his presence was certainly hovering around his eldest child.
BBB’s downhill skid impacts Lonzo Ball
In the months that followed the Big Baller Brand push by LaVar, things began on a downward trajectory. Reports began surfaced that there would be a delay in the delivery of the shoes due to manufacturing problems that many customers still haven’t received the product.
This was just the beginning of the issues for the Ball family as it was discovered that former BBB finance Alan Foster had taken more than $1.5 million out of the company’s bank accounts. Foster was also accepting “substantial undisclosed referral fees” from at least eight loans that he personally put in place on behalf of the business.
In response to this situation, Lonzo voiced that he was hurt by the entire matter given that he had grown up with Foster around the family. The Balls had looked to have swept that matter under the rug, but a recent episode of Facebook’s reality series, Ball in the Family, displayed an ongoing internal conflict between LaVar and Lonzo over the handling of the declining Big Baller Brand.
This short clip sets the tone for the disconnect between the two that previously weren’t publicly known as their true feelings about the situation were expressed.
Lonzo and LaVar Ball’s strained relationship
As the clip from the recent Ball in the Family episode would suggest, things have reached a breaking point in their standing with the future of the Big Baller Brand. Lonzo is pushing his father to make drastic changes to the business while LaVar remains stern with staying on the same path despite the setback and lack of significant merchandise sales over the last few years.
The 21-year-old gave a sense of where things stand with his recent comments stating that he has spoken much to his father since their heated exchange. (h/t Andrew Joseph of For The Win)
“Our relationship is not how it’s been in the past. So, we’re not really talking too much right now. I really don’t know how he feels. But I know he wants just the best for me. He should be happy. I don’t know.”
Ultimately, there is a clear disconnect between the two that appears will take some time for things to be patched up. Only time will tell where things will go from this point on.