LaVar Ball Undeterred by Nike, Adidas and Under Armour Passing on Shoe Deal with Son

LaVar Ball previously made headlines for proclaiming his son was better than Steph Curry. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images)

A deal between Lonzo Ball and major apparel brands Nike, Adidas and Under Armour is not in the cards, but LaVar Ball isn’t just licking his wounds somewhere.

The outspoken basketball dad, father of NBA draft prospect Lonzo, confirmed to ESPN that all three companies passed on a deal to license the family’s Big Baller Brand. Sources from the brands confirmed the news to the sports site and said LaVar insisted on such an agreement between them and his company, which sells athletics apparel ranging from $38 to $100. They also said LaVar presented a prototype of what would have been his son’s first shoe.

“We’ve said from the beginning, we aren’t looking for an endorsement deal,” LaVar said. “We’re looking for co-branding, a true partner. But they’re not ready for that because they’re not used to that model. But hey, the taxi industry wasn’t ready for Uber, either.”

Now, LaVar is setting his sites on Chinese companies including Anta, Peak and Li-Ning. And he’ll also consider a potential partner in tech, like Facebook.

“Just imagine how rich Tiger [Woods], Kobe [Bryant], Serena [Williams], [Michael] Jordan and LeBron [James] would have been if they dared to do their own thing,” LaVar said, reflecting on Nike executive George Raveling’s comments that LaVar is “the worst thing to happen to basketball.” “No one owned their own brand before they turned pro. We do, and I have three sons, so it’s that much more valuable.”

Lonzo is heading to the NBA Draft in two months after spending one season as a UCLA Bruin. LiAngelo signed with UCLA and LaMelo also has committed to the school.

Online, some accused LaVar of destroying Lonzo’s chances of getting a lucrative sneaker deal.

Others shared guesses as to what Lonzo would wear in the NBA.

Some sided with LaVar’s business methods.

One imagined how Lonzo would react to the news.

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