“Just got off the phone with a source close to me in America that just told me [that] a sneaker company has offered LaMelo Ball a private jet and $100 million dollars,” Williams said via Twitter.
Ball, 18 is averaging 17 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.8 assists in 31 minutes per game for the Hawks.
While Williams declined to tell me which sneaker company has Ball on their radar he did share with me that they are serious. “They are not going to lose Melo,” Williams told me via text message Tuesday morning.
“They are going to do everything in their power to execute this offer. In my opinion, this company knows this is a one of kind opportunity. Melo hype is as big as MJ. Pick one.”
Seems like this is round two of hype that Both Ball and Zion Williamson gathered in 2017 when they played in the AAU scene.
Back in the summer of 2017 at the Adidas Uprising Summer Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada, Williamson’s SC Supreme AAU team beat Ball’s Big Baller Brand 104-92. Williamson, now a member of the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans scored 28 in the win. Ball had 31 points of his own.
Now a member of the New Orleans Pelicans, Williamson signed a $75 million deal with Air Jordan.
This AAU rivalry is so nostalgic and is a reminder that the hoops and sneaker influcence is a big thing. Remember LeBron James and Lenny Cooke‘s duel at Sonny Vaccaro’s ABCD Camp in 2002?
In the closing seconds of a game, Cooke’s team had the lead and possession of the basketball. James stole the ball, scored on a fast break and won the game. That play introduced the world to the Akron, Ohio baller who was later featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated with the cover titled, ‘The Chosen One.’
On a recent episode of the Scoop B Radio Podcast, I discussed overseas basketball and LaMelo Ball with Lenny Cooke.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Have you been paying attention to LaMelo Ball?
Lenny Cooke: I’ve been watching him.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: What are you seeing in his game that you like?
Lenny Cooke: I mean that being that he’s playing in one of the top leagues, I like his aggressiveness, but at the same time I don’t think he’s physically fit right now. But I think he will be successful. I think so.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Do you think that someone like LaMelo Ball picks up where Brandon Jennings and Jeremy Tyler left off? Because you remember Brandon went to Italy and Jeremy Tyler went to Israel in his junior year of high school, was advised by Sonny [Vacarro]…Do you think that what LaMelo is doing kind of carries over from what Brandon and Jeremy did?
Lenny Cooke: I don’t see him having the same impact as Brandon Jennings because he got into the league, I don’t see that happening. But I do see it transforming over.
Brandon ‘Scoop’ Robinson: Yeah. I like his game. I check him out
Lenny Cooke: He’s smooth. He’s got a smooth name to him. He said that he was better than his brother. I think so….
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: That overseas challenges you in a way that I think maybe colleges don’t. Because I think college is so much close to the NBA minus the full court press. To me it seems like sometimes college may baby you, but I think overseas will make a man out of you.
Lenny Cooke: It makes a man out of you, I agree…
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: You played overseas…
Lenny Cooke: Yeah, I played over there last 7 years of my career.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: What are the biggest differences overseas versus American ball from your experience?
Lenny Cooke: It all depends on where you’re at though. It all depends. When I was in China it was rough for me. The culture was different. I quit in the championship game because he called me a nigger….
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: What? Are you serious? Fans?
Lenny Cooke: The coach. So quit right there in the middle of the championship game….so it’s different. So like when I played in the Philippines, I was over there for 2 years they loved me over there. I was like LeBron over there. I was averaging 40 and 20 in the Philippines so it depends on where you go.
Lenny Cooke is currently playing for the Camden Monarchs in the ABA League. Lamelo Ball is believed to be a top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.