LaVar Ball, father of Lonzo Ball and Melo Ball created waves a few year ago when the Big Baller Brand was created and the first signature shoe designed was Lonzo Ball’s ZO2 Prime that had a retail price of $495.
Since then Lonzo Ball has been traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the New Orleans Pelicans where he teamed up with Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and head coach Alvin Gentry.
While the Pelicans won’t make the NBA Playoffs next week after finishing with a 30-42 record and 13th place finish in the NBA’s Western Conference standings there is a belief by some locally that Gentry will be relieved of duty.
Additionally, there’s a believe in the local New Orleans-area that Lonzo Ball could be on the trading block at season’s end.
Speaking of the Ball family, on a recent episode of #WORDSWITHSCOOP Presented by Orox Leather, I checked in with hip hop mogul Master P. In addition to discussing Los Angeles Lakers All-Stars Anthony Davis and LeBron James and his interest in owning the New Orleans Pelicans, we discussed the Big Baller Brand.
“I definitely think that he was ahead of his time,” Master P told me.
“But, I feel like people are going to dislike you when you’re different and when you speak out. And he just has one of those type personalities but I feel like now what he’s done with the Roc (RocNation) and hooking up with Jay-Z and their team, and I think he sees the bigger picture, and I think him and his family are turning something around because they are very talented. So I just think that he’s an outspoken person so, and when you come from nothing, you’re excited and you wanna show people what you can do. But I think now, he got the right people around him. I think he didn’t have the right people around him at first so, I’m definitely praying for them, he has a talented family. I mean, he motivated me to do what I’m doing with my boys – I got two boys; one in the 8th and one in the 11th and I’m like, we started out on the shoe brand, that’s where the Moneyatti comes from it was a fashion brand; I’m like, ‘No. This is going to take over basketball while you guys are still in high school so the rest of the world can grow up with you.’ So, we’re still in that technology part and what I learned from the Ball family is don’t just put any shoe out. And we’re not even playing in our shoes yet. They wear ‘em everyday to walk around in, but the technology hasn’t been done yet. We’re still working on it for that basketball shoe to make sure that those shoes feel good on your feet and you’re able to play and you’re able to do what you need to do on the court; because you know, you gotta have the right shoes on to play basketball… or you’re not going to want to play because your feet are hurting or whatever.”
Master P has a longtime connection with the NBA. In 1998, he was signed to a preseason contract by the Charlotte Hornets. In 1999, he got a similar deal with the Raptors. He never appeared in an NBA game, however. He had a brief stint in the CBA, with the Fort Wayne Fury, as well as in the International Basketball League and the American Basketball Association.
He appeared in the NBA’s Celebrity Game over All-Star weekend twice, in 2008 and 2017.