After the UCLA Bruins lost to the Kentucky Wildcats in the NCAA Tournament, the team’s star guard, Lonzo Ball, declared for the draft. However, upon the start of the tournament, the patriarch of the Ball family made headlines, claiming his sons were worth a billion-dollar sneaker deal.
While Ball’s sneaker deal comment wasn’t the only statement that made headlines, it may have been the most outrageous, as rookies rarely land signature sneaker deals, let alone a billion-dollar deal. But LaVar Ball refused to back down from his statement, as his confidence in his children reigned supreme over the criticisms of those opposed.
However, in light of Ball’s demands for a deal, three brands have already passed on his son Lonzo.
According to ESPN, Ball has confirmed that Nike, Under Armour and Adidas have all declined to complete a deal with Lonzo. While it is unusual for all big companies to completely pass on a potential top pick just before the draft, it appears LaVar Ball’s demands have forced the brands to respectfully decline to do business.
Sources say, Ball has come in with his own prototype for Lonzo’s new shoe and insisted that the companies license his Big Baller Brand from him. Despite the companies’ decision to move on, Ball is standing his grown, reiterating his wants and wishes for his son’s future.
“We’ve said from the beginning, we aren’t looking for an endorsement deal,” said Ball. “We’re looking for co-branding, a true partner. But they’re not ready for that because they’re not used to that model. But hey, the taxi industry wasn’t ready for Uber, either.”
Now, Ball is looking to work with companies in China, as he is determined to land a partner.
“We’re not going to sign with a company and then wait around for five or six years for a show like Paul George had to wait for Nike,” he said.