NEW BALL GAME?
Is Big Baller Brand a game changer? If you haven’t heard the father of three stud amateur athletes has made a big splash in the sports and sports apparel world. Lavar Ball, the father of future lottery pick Lonzo Ball, 2017 UCLA commit LiAngelo Ball, and 2019 UCLA commit Lamelo Ball has been very loud and boisterous about what he believes his sons can and will do with their basketball careers. He even went as far as to say that his eldest son, Lonzo, is better than former NBA MVP guard Steph Curry right now. Lavar also said that in his prime he would have beaten the GOAT himself, Michael Jordan one on one. These claims caught the attention of a lot of people, but they didn’t bother me or really catch my attention. The reason these claims didn’t even move me were because, what father wouldn’t say his son is the best at whatever they may be doing? What man would openly admit that another man can beat them in anything? I would believe it is in most men’s DNA to always want to be the alpha male. What Lavar Ball did say that caught my attention was that he wanted a billion dollar deal for the likes of his sons and their self-created Big Baller Brand. It has been reported that he approached shoe companies not to sign an endorsement deal, but to sign a partnership to brand his Big Baller Brand or BBB. It may sound crazy to some, but Lavar Ball may be on to something that could forever change the game.
As far I know this is the first time a player or their parent has actually looked for a partnership and not your average shoe deal from one of the big companies. I’m an avid reader and when I heard what Lavar was trying to do it made me think of one of my favorite books, Rich Dad Poor Dad. If you ever read the book the author, discusses how people view life differently based upon their own reality. It’s like how some people see the cup half full, while others see it as half empty. What Lavar Ball sees as a reality for him and his sons is a chance to own a company and not be another employee. Think about the business owners who started out small, but the product was so good and growing, a bigger company came along and either partnered with that company or they sold their company for a huge profit. Take for example Amazon, Jeff Bezos seen an opening for online retailing. Two years after selling his first book online, he opened his IPO and now today Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer. Lavar Ball may actually be on to something huge and could start a trend of future star athletes following his path.
Imagine if Lebron James did this. I only choose Lebron because he is one of the most visible athletes of this current time around the world. WHAT IF, Lebron never signed a $100 million dollar deal with Nike out of high school, but instead had a marketing firm create and help build his own brand. WHAT IF, Lebron dominated the same way he did and after five years in the NBA chose to search for a partnership rather than an endorsement deal. We have already seen how thinking outside the box can pay off. Remember when Bron caught flack for allowing his friends to handle his business affairs? Everyone said he was dumb and they were bound to fail. Now Richard Paul is one of basketball’s most powerful agents and Maverick Carter has put together very lucrative deals with major brands worldwide. Who is to say things wont play out the same way for the Ball family?
In my opinion, I believe it is our environmental expectations and what we view as our reality that limits us. What I mean by environmental expectations is the limits that are set upon us based where we come from or sometimes our circles of people we call friends. For example, I grew up in the inner city of Cleveland, OH, in the Saint Clair area. We grew up eight people living in two-bedroom home. So I don’t think much was really expected of us, yet my siblings and myself have college degrees, which isn’t normal being where we are from.
One thing that I didn’t like that Lavar Ball did is that he may have unintentionally put a huge bulls eye, as well as, a magnifying glass on his boys that they may not deserve or may not be able to handle. Now the world will be watching Lonzo Ball to compare him to a NBA MVP in only his rookie season, instead of watching him develop and enjoying his game for what it is. His younger brothers haven’t even hit the collegiate level yet, but I guarantee their peers can’t wait to go at their heads. Essentially Lavar Ball did a lot of talking but he is not the one in the fight, his kids have to back up what he said.
If everything plays out the way Lavar Ball says it will, the man will go down as a genius because he thought outside the box and it paid off big time. If it doesn’t workout, he will be viewed as another loud mouth parent who thought their child was all world and they were not, BUT he may still have sparked the mind of another future superstar or future entrepreneur. Only time will tell…