Lonzo Ball, the second overall pick in the NBA draft out of UCLA, recently recorded the first triple-double in Las Vegas Summer League history. Then he did it again the next day, and claimed Vegas Summer League MVP.
However, the focus hasn’t been on his promising play. LaVar Ball, the stage parent from Hades, put a huge target on his sons’ backs with his cocksure attitude.
That was on display when NFL superstar J.J. Watt took a not-so-veiled threat at LaVar’s eldest son.
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt couldn’t help himself Thursday. He saw an opening and he had to take it.
Nothing personal, mind you. Just business.
Lonzo Ball, five days after recording the first triple-double in the 13-year history of the Las Vegas Summer League, did it again in the Lakers’ win over the Cavaliers.
Watt took some shots at Big Baller Brand and Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball on Twitter on Thursday evening. Hyping the JJ II, his second signature training shoe with Reebok that debuted Friday for $99, Watt compared the price point to another shoe that recently hit the market.
“400 dollars less than some shoes on the market and 100% more effective,” Watt said in a post.
Followed simply by another:
And I actually wear them.
Ball created quite a sensation Wednesday when, instead of wearing his own ZO2 shoes — which sell for $495 under Big Baller Brand, his family’s independent fashion line — he wore Nike Kobe A.D. Sneakers at the Las Vegas Summer League.
On Thursday, Ball jogged onto the court in a pair of James Harden’s signature Adidas shoes.
“Big Baller Brand, you’ve got freedom to do whatever you want,” Ball said on the ESPN broadcast after the game. “I’m showcasing that.”
With multiple appearances on sports talk shows, an appearance on WWE Monday Night Raw, and an upcoming Facebook reality show, the Balls are diligent about branding.
But all of the bluster comes at a cost.
LaVar got into a spat with Fox Sports 1’s Kristine Leahy that caused a stir, and he also drew the ire of Philadelphia 76ers young star Joel Embiid when he criticized the young franchise players.
Embiid responded by saying, “F— LaVar Ball.”
The problem is LaVar doesn’t have to face NBA players every night. Lonzo does, and they’ll surely be licking their chops to embarrass him any chance they get.
People seem to take glee in the Balls’ mishaps.
LaVar Ball says LaMelo is “like a million times better at dunking than Dominique Wilkins.” https://t.co/05vIixls93
The extra attention means people are watching, but it also means the pressure is high.