LaVar Ball is the king of making outrageous statements to garner attention. The father of basketball players Lonzo, LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball, LaVar has appeared on shows like ESPN‘s “First Take” and has said he could beat both Michael Jordan and Zion Williamson one-on-one on the court. He’s feuded with LeBron James and President Donald Trump after one of his sons was arrested for shoplifting in China. The list of crazy headlines goes on and on.
Actually, here’s one more: When Melo was drafted third overall by the Charlotte Hornet, LaVar wore a hat that said: “I Told You So!” Why? Because he told everyone that LaMelo was a top draft pick, years in advance.
Still, LaVar smartly parlayed his publicity by launching Big Baller Brand, the shoe and apparel company that sells overpriced shoes and has received an outpouring of backlash and negative reviews. Despite this, LaVar has claimed the company is worth (wait for it) more than a billion dollars.
Say what you want about the outrageous LaVar Ball or his parenting style or that he’s known as the “Kardashian of the NBA,” but his name, face and voice are renowned in the sports world. Two of his sons are making millions playing in the NBA and his youngest was the third overall selection in the 2020 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets, who can end their postseason drought in the NBA Play-In Tournament, as they fight for a playoff berth. Without LaMelo that wouldn’t be possible, as the young NBA Star has greatly impacted and improved the Hornets in just a few NBA seasons.
LaVar himself doesn’t quite stack up financially. So how much does this “big baller” have in the bank? That depends who you ask and who you choose to believe.
Who is LaVar Ball?
Before his three sons gained reputations for their basketball abilities, LaVar Christopher Ball was actually a college basketball player and former professional football player himself. Born and raised in South Los Angeles, California, LaVar was one of seven children.
He played basketball and football for Canoga Park High School in his early life, where he broke the school record for rebounds in a single season. He then continued his hooping career at West Los Angeles College, Division I Washington State and Cal State Los Angeles, where he played with three of his brothers.
LaVar also played tight end at Long Beach City College for a season and even played for the London Monarchs of the World League of American Football before joining the practice squads of the NFL’s New York Jets and Carolina Panthers football teams in 1995. Don’t be fooled, though. Former teammates have called his football career “garbage.”
He met his wife, Tina, at Cal State Los Angeles and the two got married in 1997, the same year they had first son Lonzo Ball. Soon after, Lavar became a personal trainer.
LaVar Ball’s Sons
LaVar values his sons’ marketability a bit more than most. He even once told USA Today that they were worth “a billion dollars” in a package deal.
At one point, LaVar brought two of his sons to Lithuania to play in the professional league there, but he pulled them out with just two games left in the season. It’s a weird, weird story. Maybe for another time.
Lonzo Ball played NCAA basketball for the UCLA Bruins, where he was a first-team All-American and developed enough for the Los Angeles Lakers to select him with the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
The 6-foot-6 point guard has been lauded for his vision and passing skills and was sent to the New Orleans Pelicans in the Anthony Davis trade. He was then traded to the Chicago Bulls in August 2021. Coming out of college, Lonzo reportedly had $10 million endorsement deal offers from Nike, Adidas and Under Armour, but he joined the Big Baller Brand and in 2017 released his signature shoe, the ZO2.
LiAngelo Ball is considered the least gifted on the court. The three-star recruit from Chino Hill High School signed to play at UCLA before a shoplifting fiasco in China turned that idea on its head. He played for his father’s Junior Basketball Association in 2018 before playing for the NBA G League’s Oklahoma City Blue. In October 2021, he was signed by the Hornets, where his brother plays.
LaMelo Ball could wind up being the best player of all the Ball brothers. The 6-foot-7 was the No. 3 pick last year after playing overseas for the Lithuanian team Prienai as well as in the JBA before playing his senior season at a prep school in Ohio. He was the NBA Rookie of the Year his first season with Charlotte.
The Ball family was also the subject of the reality show “Ball in the Family,” which was aired on Facebook and produced five seasons worth of content.
Big Baller Brand and JBA
LaVar Ball not only is a major media personality in the NBA world, he’s a businessman.
When he’s not setting social media ablaze for spewing ridiculous comments and tweets or making inappropriate sexual remarks to ESPN‘s Molly Qerim, the founder and CEO of Big Baller Brand is attempting to compete with basketball shoe companies like Nike, Adidas and Puma.
LaVar launched BBB in 2016 and said that each ‘B’ stood for one of his sons. Each of his sons have a signature shoe, as does he and his wife, Tina Ball. In February 2020, the company announced it was relaunching. They revealed a lifestyle shoe line in 2021 that’s selling for as much as $895.
Despite negative reviews and an ‘F’ grade from the Better Business Bureau, LaVar has said his company is worth more than $1 billion. The news came as his son, New Orleans Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball, was suing BBB co-founder Alan Foster for allegedly stealing $1.5 million from him, per Bleacher Report.
LaVar also launched an alternative professional basketball league for potential college basketball players, the Junior Basketball Association. The JBA, however, lasted just one season. The Los Angeles Ballers, which featured the younger two Ball brothers, won the 2018 championship.
What is LaVar Ball’s Net Worth?
Let’s get one thing straight: LaVar Ball is a millionaire. That’s about all he can say he is.
While Lonzo has earned more than $10 million playing in the NBA and is signed to a four-year, $33 million deal and LaMelo is earning more than $7 million early in his career, LaVar’s net worth isn’t quite as high.
According to Money Inc and Celebrity Net Worth, LaVar Ball’s net worth is an estimated $4 million. His bank account isn’t nearly as impressive as that of his younger sons, but he’s at least a millionaire.
The Ball father hasn’t made headlines quite like he used to, but with LaMelo and Lonzo dominating the NBA I wouldn’t put it past LaVar to grab the spotlight once again and have the United States sports world talking about him.
Who knows, we may begin to talk about the LaVar and his sons the way we talk about a different Hornets legend, Dell Curry, and his sons Seth and Stephen Curry. But first, one of his sons needs to win an MVP.
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This post was originally published on March 30, 2020.