LaVar Ball's Most Outlandish Quotes

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 2, 2018

LaVar Ball's Most Outlandish Quotes

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    Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

    Love him or hate him, it doesn't look like LaVar Ball is going to fade from relevance anytime soon.

    He's nothing if not quotable.

    With one outlandish claim after another, the outspoken father of Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball has thrust himself into the national spotlight.

    While LaVar is a quote machine and there are too many ridiculous lines for us to cover them all, let's take a quick look at some of his most memorable gems.

"He's Better Than Steph Curry"

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    LM Otero/Associated Press

    Full Quote: "You can't compare my boy to anyone...he's gonna be better than Steph Curry in the NBA." (via TMZ)

         

    Context

    This was surely not the first time LaVar Ball said something outrageous in his life.

    It was, however, the first time he did it on a national stage. And for an opening act, he dove headfirst into the hyperbole pool.

    Nothing like comparing your then-19-year-old son to the then-reigning NBA MVP.

    Given the chance to walk back his comments a month later, LaVar instead doubled down, adding (via Monte Poole of NBC Bay Area), "Put Steph Curry on UCLA's team right now and put my boy on Golden State and watch what happens."

    What would happen is Curry would average about 50 points a game and Lonzo would be no better than the fourth or fifth option on a title contender.

         

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    "I don't want to talk about that."

    That's all Curry had to say about the comments, per Poole. And really, why should he care?

    When pressed further on LaVar, he took the high road: "Every person should parent their kid how they feel they should. That's it."

    So while the comments might not have ruffled Curry's feathers, they did launch LaVar into prominence. That was only the beginning.

"We're Not Competing with Nike...We're a Step Above Them"

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    John Locher/Associated Press

    Full Quote: "We not even caring about Nike and Adidas and Under Armour. We not even competing with them, because we're better than them, we're a step above them. We're what you call a premium activewear."(via ESPN)

         

    Context

    Nike was valued at $91.2 billion as of May 2017, according to Forbes, while Adidas was valued at $39.6 billion and Under Armour at $17.3 billion.

    Big Baller Brand was expected to pull in about $445,500 in profits from the ZO2 shoes, according to a projection from FormSwift.com.

    That said, more goes into placing a valuation on Big Baller Brand than just profits from its first shoe line. Company reputation also plays a major role.

    Big Baller Brand currently has an "F" grade with the Better Business Bureau.

    Not only is Big Baller Brand not a "step above" any of those companies; it isn't anywhere near the industry giants.

         

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    How would one even respond to this level of nonsense?

    For Nike, Adidas and Under Armour, this was nothing more than a faint murmur far off in the distance.

"A Billion Dollars...That's Our Number"

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    Mindaugas Kulbis/Associated Press

    Full Quote: "A billion dollars, it has to be there. That’s our number, a billion, straight out of the gate. And you don't even have to give it to me all up front. Give us $100 mil over 10 years." (via Josh PeterUSA Today)

         

    Context

    LaVar announced that absurd asking price for a marketing deal for all three of his sons last March. By May, he had already changed his mind, upping his price to $3 billion.

    "If they want to talk to me now, it just went up to $3 billion. Triple Bs—billion, billion, billion," Ball said on The Herd with Colin Cowherd (via ESPN.com).

    No one wanted anything to do with his $1 billion asking price, so let's see if tripling it piques their interest. Brilliant.

    He might as well have asked for $100 trillion. It would have yielded the same result.

    Had Lonzo gone the traditional route, Nick DePaula of ESPN.com posited he likely would have been in line for something in the neighborhood of a five-year, $15 million endorsement deal.

         

    Reaction

    Again, the major apparel companies have been deafeningly silent in response to the Big Baller Brand.

    When your asking price fits better in a high-stakes game of Monopoly, that should come as no surprise.

"Rookie of the Year? It's Already a Done Deal."

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    Full Quote: "Rookie of the Year? It's already a done deal, I got the trophy already...How could he not be?" (via gifdsports)

         

    Context

    Let's pretend LaVar forgot Ben Simmons was eligible for Rookie of the Year honors after he missed last season with a broken foot.

    This one still hasn't aged well.

    While Lonzo would go on to win MVP honors in the Las Vegas Summer League shortly after LaVar made those comments, he's been far from the league's best rookie so far this season.

    • Ball: 10.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.9 blocks, 12.2 PER

    He's filling up the stat sheet, but that has to do more with his usage than efficiency.

    Simmons, Donovan Mitchell, Lauri Markkanen, Jayson Tatum and Dennis Smith Jr. are all having far better seasons. Hell, Lonzo may not even be the best rookie on his own team.

    • Kyle Kuzma: 16.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.4 blocks, 14.6 PER

    Let's hope LaVar kept the receipt for whatever trophy he supposedly bought during the preseason.

         

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    In LaVar's defense, he was not alone in predicting Lonzo would win Rookie of the Year.

    In NBA.com's annual general manager survey, 62 percent of respondents predicted Lonzo would win top rookie honors, well ahead of Simmons (24 percent), Smith (7 percent) and others.

    None of those GMs made a guarantee they weren't in position to deliver on, though.

    Surely LaVar hasn't made any other outrageous guarantees completely out of his control...

"Lakers to the Playoffs His First Year"

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    Winslow Townson/Associated Press

    Full Quote: "Lonzo Ball is gonna take the Lakers to the playoffs his first year." (via CBS Sports)

         

    Context

    Let's do some quick math.

    Last season, the Lakers won 26 games. In each of the past two seasons, it's taken 41 wins to claim the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.

    Granted, the Lakers did more than draft Lonzo during the offseason. They signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in free agency and acquired Brook Lopez and the pick they used on Kyle Kuzma in a trade that sent D'Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Nets. They selected Josh Hart during the draft, too..

    Still, the rebuilding Lakers were nowhere near ready to contend for a playoff spot.

    Sure enough, at 19-31, they currently sit 11th in the West, on pace for 31 wins.

         

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    LaVar later doubled down on his outrageous prediction on First Take, saying the Lakers would win at least 50 games. That got Stephen A. Smith all sorts of fired up, as exepcted.

    But hey, it isn't impossible. The Lakers just need to go 31-1 the rest of the way.

"Zo Is the Best Player in the World"

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    Full Quote: "To me, Zo is the best player in the world. ... I don't know if he can beat [LeBron James and Russell Westbrook] one-on-one, but I know he can beat them five-on-five." (via Sean GregoryTime)

         

    Context

    To me, Canadian bacon is the best breakfast meat in the world.

    See? Anyone can spout off a nonsensical claim. That doesn't mean it's true.

    Good for LaVar for having that level of belief in his son, who has a chance to develop into a key piece of the next contending Lakers team. He even showed a shred of humility by recognizing that NBA players have a strength advantage over Lonzo, which could prove detrimental in a one-on-one matchup.

    This is still peak outlandish, though.

         

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    How does Lonzo currently stack up to the rest of the league?

    He checked in at No. 98 on Bleacher Report's midseason top 100 players list. For those of you scoring at home, that was 97 spots below LeBron and 90 spots below Westbrook.

    It was also below Lakers teammates Kyle Kuzma (92) and Brandon Ingram (95). That means he's not even the best player on his own team right now, let alone the best player in the world.

"I Would Kill Michael Jordan One-on-One"

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    BETH A. KEISER/Associated Press

    Full Quote: "Back in my heyday, I would kill Michael Jordan one-on-one." (via Josh PetersUSA Today)

         

    Context

    There's actually more to this delusion, as LaVar offered the following blueprint for success:

    "I would just back [Jordan] in and lift him off the ground and call a foul every time he fouls me when I do a jump hook to the right or the left. He cannot stop me one-on-one. He better make every shot 'cause he can't go around me. He's not fast enough. And he can only make so many shots outside before I make every bucket under the rim."

    For those of you unfamiliar with LaVar's prolific basketball background, he played in 26 games at Washington State during the 1987-88 season, averaging an eye-popping 2.2 points and 2.3 rebounds per game.

    And for those of you who haven't seen the self-proclaimed GOAT in action, it isn't pretty.

    Actor Michael B. Jordan portrayed Justice Young in the MyCareer mode in NBA 2K17. Maybe that's the Michael Jordan he was talking about?

         

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    Word of this made it to MJ himself, who had a great response, via Adi Joseph of USA Today:

    "You've got to understand the source. He played, I don't know, I think, college, maybe? He averaged 2.2 points a game. Really? It doesn't deserve a response, but I'm going to give it to you because you asked the question. I don't think he could beat me if I was on one leg."

    Sports Illustrated took it one step further, mocking up a simulation of what the hypothetical one-on-one battle might have looked like.

    LaVar has said plenty of outlandish things during his brief time in the spotlight, and there's undoubtedly more to come. But he set the bar awfully high with this one.

         

    All stats courtesy of Basketball Reference, unless otherwise noted.