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Of course there’s another shoe.
Seven months after Big Baller Brand announced the $495 Zo2 sneakers and just hours after LaVar Ball pulled his son LiAngelo Ball out of his freshman year at UCLA, ESPN is reporting that BBB has plans for another shoe dubbed the Gelo 3.
Now that LaVar Ball has pulled son LiAngelo Ball from UCLA, there are plans in place for a third Big Baller Brand sneaker alongside the ZO2 and Melo Ball 1. LiAngelo's eventual signature shoe will be called the "Gelo 3," via ESPN's @JovanBuha. https://t.co/bW4mxTfifI
— Nick DePaula (@NickDePaula) December 4, 2017
The shoe report and the exit from UCLA come on the heels of LiAngelo’s involvement in a shoplifting scandal in China while the Bruins were overseas that led to his suspension from the team.
They also come just a few days after those sneakers that people paid almost $500 for were actually produced, seven months after the fact.
Also, Lavar reportedly pulled LiAngelo from UCLA with the plan to prep him for the NBA draft himself.
LaVar on pulling LiAngelo from UCLA: “I’m going to make him way better for the draft that UCLA ever could have.”
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) December 4, 2017
All of this begs the question. Can we stop pretending that LaVar Ball actually has his sons’ best interests in mind? This is the breaking point, right?
The man just pulled his middle son from one of the world’s great academic institutions ahead of a reported shoe release. A son that he plans on prepping for the NBA draft, despite the fact that he is not at all qualified to do so. And he’s apparently completely oblivious to the fact that nobody considers LiAngelo a legitimate NBA prospect.
Either that, or he doesn’t care and just hopes to cash in as much as possible while the media spotlight is still glowing.
Many gave LaVar a pass at first, intrigued by a plan to bypass the status quo path of NCAA-to-NBA-to-shoe deal for a top prospect like his eldest son and Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball.
And there’s some merit to that. The pay-for-play scandal that has left Louisville’s basketball program reeling and 5-star prospect Brian Bowen without a place to play is just the latest to further cast a shadow over the farce of NCAA amateurism.
There has to be a better way.
This isn’t it.
The statement alone that LaVar pulled LiAngelo out of school sends up enough red flags. Why is that LaVar’s decision? LiAngelo is a grown man who got to UCLA on his own merits.
And LiAngelo’s not the only one suffering his father’s antics.
LaVar’s thirst for control and attention has reportedly led the Lakers to implement the “Lavar Ball rule” restricting his access to media after games.
Right now, LaVar is not doing anything to help his sons advance their lives. He appears to be little more than a leech, riding his sons’ talents and his own special ability to spin bombast into media attention in an attempt to cash in.
Lonzo, despite his early NBA struggles, has a bright future and an NBA contract going for him.
But with no education and no NBA prospects, what’s going to become of LiAngelo?