LaVar Ball is a devoted father, ambitious businessman and basketball power player. His personality is a tour de force. He has the ability to speak something into existence, as he did with his oldest son, Lonzo, 20, who went from Chino Hills (Calif.) High School to UCLA to the L.A. Lakers — just as LaVar planned and foretold. LaVar, 50, has two other basketball-playing sons, LiAngelo, 19, and LaMelo, 16, as well as a variety of business ventures and accomplishments. Here's what you should know about the bombastic Big Baller himself, LaVar Ball:
1. Taking over world of basketball
Move over Adam Silver, LaVar has founded his own basketball league. The Junior Basketball Association (JBA) is set to tip off its inaugural season on June 21, 2018. The proposed eight-team league will showcase LaMelo on the Los Angeles Ballers and will include franchises in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, New York, Philadelphia and Seattle — all sharing the team name “Ballers.” The JBA will be funded by Ball's apparel company, Big Baller Brand (which famously sells Lonzo's shoe, the ZO2, for $495). League champs will be gifted luxury cars, reportedly from BMW, Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz. Ballin'!
2. Could beat Michael Jordan 1-on-1
LaVar has famously boasted that, in his prime, he could beat Michael Jordan 1-on-1 and that his son, Lonzo, is better than two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry. Although not a six-time NBA champion like “His Airness,” LaVar is a fairly accomplished athlete in his own right. LaVar played basketball at Washington State in 1987-88, averaging 2.2 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.0 assist per game over 26 games. The 6'5”, 263-pounder also played football at Long Beach City College, Cal-State Los Angeles, the practice squads of the New York Jets and Carolina Panthers, and the London Monarchs of the World League of American Football.
3. Dominated son, Lonzo, in Lip Sync Battle
Although Lonzo gave his parents a $400,000 Rolls Royce for Christmas in 2017, LaVar was quick to chop his son down to size. The two Big Ballers went head-to-head on the reality TV show, Lip Sync Battle. LaVar got zoot-suited and performed Morris Day and the Time's “Jungle Love” and Nas' “Hate Me Now,” while Lonzo performed Kendrick Lamar's “Humble” and Migos' “Bad and Boujee.”
4. Expert in intercontinental incidents
LaVar's controversy cannot be contained by the borders of the United States. He has been at the center of multiple international scandals, getting into a public verbal-sparring session with the President of the United States, Donald Trump — a self-promoting media manipulator with whom Ball has been compared. LaVar's middle son, LiAngelo, was arrested in China following a shoplifting incident including two other UCLA players. Following an indefinite suspension, LaVar took his sons from SoCal to Lithuania, where LiAngelo and LaMelo played for BC Prienu Vytautas before an unceremonious, abrupt early ending. “They came here to make a show, not for basketball,” Vytautas coach Virginijus Seskus told ESPN.
5. King of all media
LaVar is a maestro of multi-media branding. His Facebook Watch show, Ball in the Family, documents the Big Baller lifestyle on and off the court. LaVar was also a hit during a guest appearance on WWE Monday Night Raw, where he ripped his shirt off and tangled with the Miz. Always unpredictable, LaVar reportedly didn't practice or rehearse his segment, choosing instead to freestyle his work in the ring and on the mic. And of course, LaVar's persona has become a go-to for Saturday Night Live's Kenan Thompson, whose reoccurring portrayal of LaVar has never lost. “I'm like Earl Woods, Joe Jackson and Dina Lohan all rolled into one!” Thompson says. “Never lost!”