Nike Executive Lashes Out at LaVar Ball, Calling Father of Prospects ‘The Worst Thing to Happen to Basketball in 100 Years’
However a sports fan may feel about UCLA basketball star Lonzo Ball, it pales in comparison to how much Nike hates his dad, LaVar Ball.
Nike’s Global Basketball Sports Marketing Director George Raveling recently criticized Papa Ball at a World Congress of Sports event, calling him “the worst thing to happen to basketball in the last hundred years.”
Granted, LaVar’s constant grandstanding could be seen as annoying, and talking up Lonzo’s skills by putting down other players (notably Steph Curry) wasn’t sportsmanlike. And then there was his highly publicized demand for a $1 billion sneaker contract for his three sons (including the highly-touted high school products, LiAngelo and LaMelo). That couldn’t have been encouraging for Nike.
But it’s also fair to say that Raveling’s comment was probably an overstep.
Either way, tensions probably won’t die down before Lonzo enters the NBA Draft this summer.