Nike executive George Raveling deemed outspoken basketball dad LaVar Ball the worst thing to happen to the sport during the last century and many are pointing out the negative in Raveling’s ways.
A reporter for the SportsBusiness Journal tweeted remarks Nike’s Director of International Basketball made during the World Congress of Sports conference on Thursday, April 20.
Wow, veteran Nike exec George Raveling on LaVar Ball: “The worst thing to happen to basketball in the last hundred years.” #sbjwcs
— Michael Smith (@SmittySBJSBD) April 20, 2017
Ball has been known as an advocate for his basketball-playing sons and Raveling noted that Ball’s son, Lonzo Ball, who is heading to the NBA after one season as a UCLA point guard, should be automatically admitted into heaven for putting up with his father, according to The Post Game.
“Down the hall, to the left and have a suite, son,” Raveling said of Lonzo Ball’s entrance in the afterlife.
LaVar Ball told USA Today in March he’s seeking a $1-billion marketing deal for Lonzo Ball and his two other sons, LiAngelo, who signed with UCLA, and LaMelo, who has committed to UCLA. LaVar Ball cited Nike among their considerations.
“A billion dollars, it has to be there,” he said. “That’s our number, a billion, straight out of the gate. And you don’t even have to give it to me all up front. Give us $100 mil over 10 years.”
Lavar Ball also has made waves for having his sons wear the family’s Big Baller Brand apparel during public appearances and at ball practice, which goes against NCAA policy.
Basketball fans, some who are usually against LaVar Ball, sided with him and called out Raveling for profiting from young athletes.
George Raveling has made a lot of money off poor kids. He's got some nerve. Not a fan of Lavar, but he refuses to let his kids get pimped https://t.co/H6aFebZe9S
— Noah Fence (@el_budget) April 20, 2017
The same George Raveling thats been taking advantage of young black men for decades? https://t.co/IUE6bu5QBW
— Pas (@TheeSouthside) April 20, 2017
George Raveling done made millions off these kids. now he wanna say something wen Ball tryna get his piece. https://t.co/2u0UUuXrQi
— Jacquez Green (@JacquezGreen) April 20, 2017
— Brian Shepard (@iambrianshepard) April 20, 2017
George Raveling has been taking money from Nike to pimp these kids for over 20+ years. He's got some audacity https://t.co/WqrudFeIgZ
— Acknickulous White (@SirSeriousBlack) April 20, 2017
Several gave examples of worst things that have happened in basketball.
@SmittySBJSBD Hank Gathers, Donald Sterling, Len Bias, Malice in the Palice, Reggie Lewis, Kermit Washington, Tim Donaghy.
Shut up, George.
— Ikeyo (@Ikeyo_1985) April 20, 2017
A coach tried to smear one of his own players after he was murdered by another of his own players, but damn that Lavar Ball https://t.co/nEt3R0OeSs
— David Steele (@David_C_Steele) April 20, 2017
One shared an image of referee Tim Donaghy, who was involved in a 2007 NBA gambling scandal.
— Jason Rossi (@JasonDRossi) April 20, 2017
Some said Raveling simply needs to stay quiet.
Athletes are controlled by the oligopoly of Nike, Adidas & Under Armour. These companies are fearing more athletes creating their own brands
— Keland (@kelandx) April 21, 2017
George Raveling & Nike should either pay Lonzo or stfu. Lavar is not doing anything wrong meanwhile Nike discriminates at all levels
— frumpy (@frumpy14) April 21, 2017