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Lonzo Ball and the UCLA Bruins won’t start in the NCAA tournament until Friday, but LaVar Ball – patriarch of the Ball family – is already making headlines. His latest outrageous comment? Telling USA Today Sports that his three sons are worth a billion dollar deal.
“A billion dollars, it has to be there,” Ball said. “That’s our number, a billion, straight out the gate. And you don’t even have to give it to me all up front. Give us $100 mil over 10 years.”
To put that number into perspective, last year, Cleveland Cavaliers star and four-time league MVP LeBron James signed a lifetime deal with Nike for a reported $1 billion. It took arguably the greatest NBA player on the court today 14 seasons to reach the price tag that Ball is asking for straight out the gate. And James is earning that number on a lifetime deal – not 10 years.
Not to mention, it is rare for rookies to get signature sneaker deals. Players like James and Kevin Durant did it – but it isn’t an every day occurrence. In a recent podcast, the Vertical’s Nick DePaula noted that only 11 guys have signature shoe deals with an American brand.
“The dynamics with LaVar are really unprecedented and totally unique,” DePaula said. “I’ve even seen LaVar say that they’re going to have their own brand. That they are not going to sign a shoe deal and launch something of their own.”
DePaula went on to say that having a profitable signature shoe with the Ball brand is not very realistic.
Ball didn’t stop at the shoe deal comment. He went on to tell USA Today that his kids are already rolling through town in $100,000 BMWs which is “nothing” compared to the money he says he is saving on his children’s tuition.
“To get my boys a little $100,000 car, that’s nothing,” he said. “I don’t have to pay for education. I’m saving over $1 million.”
That math isn’t quite right, but LaVar is going with it.
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