LaVar Ball thinks similarly to many parents, unafraid to voice opinions

Brandon Paz

When thinking about sports parents–specifically fathers–names such as Archie Manning, Richard Williams, and more recently, LaVar Ball come to mind.

Archie paved the way for Peyton and Eli with the help of his 13-year NFL career. Richard established early on that his daughters Venus and Serena were going to play professional tennis and followed by coaching them to greatness.

Then there is LaVar Ball. The father of Los Angeles rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, UCLA shooting guard LiAngelo Ball and high school junior point guard LaMelo Ball.

Fast forward to 2017 and LaVar’s name is just as big as Lonzo’s, if not bigger.

Whether claiming that LaVar himself could beat Michael Jordan in a one-on-one game back in the day, calling that Lonzo would be drafted by and play for the Lakers or even going as far as to claim that his eldest son is better than Stephen Curry, LaVar has stirred up enough noise to make a name for his family and more importantly, his brand: Big Baller Brand.

LaVar self-values Big Baller Brand at $3 billion. He rejected any offers major shoe companies made to his eldest son and instead asked for a billion dollar co-branding partnership deal that would not abuse his son’s name for an outstanding profit.

Lonzo’s signature shoe, the ZO2, retails at $495, at the cheapest. The same reason LaVar refused to let other shoe companies sign his son seems to be the driving force behind Big Baller Brand, using his son’s name and reputation to make a profit.

LaVar has hyped up his son up to expectations that surpass the ceiling of any gym he could ever imagine playing in, using said hype to market the family brand.

Thus far, it hasn’t faltered.

But how much is too much? Where is the line in the sand drawn between marketing genius and exploitation of his son?

It’s one thing to use your child’s God-given talent to selfishly make a quick dollar.

It’s a completely different story when you dedicate your life to raising your son to become a basketball star and later capitalizing on the years of hard work to make an empire based around your family name.

What LaVar Ball believes in is nothing new. Find me a parent of a student athlete who doesn’t want the best for their athlete. Find me a parent who doesn’t think their top-three pick son is one of, if not the best, basketball players in the world. I’ll wait.

The only different thing about LaVar is that he voices that opinion to anyone and everyone that’s willing to hear it, and that’s where his genius comes from.

Because BBB is a private company, the exact sales may never see the public eye. However, projections have Lonzo’s yearly endorsement with Big Baller Brand valued at $445,000.

Yes, that number is a fraction of the value of other rookies’ endorsement deals, but the company is young. Only one “B” has made it to the NBA. If the other two Ball brothers crack into the association, who’s to say how Big Baller Brand will compete with the likes of Nike and Under Armour?

For now, instead of scolding LaVar Ball for his loud mouth, let’s take a step back and appreciate his genius of building a company from the ground-up with no one but blood to back him.

LaVar seems to know what he’s doing, as Lonzo noted in an open letter to his father, “…a lot of the time, you’ve been right.”