9:47 PM ET
- Myron MedcalfESPN Staff Writer Close
- Covers college basketball
- Joined ESPN.com in 2011
- Graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato
LaVar Ball claims his Big Baller Brand will rival Nike after George Raveling, an executive with the shoe and apparel giant, made critical comments about the outspoken father of Lonzo Ball, the former UCLA star and top NBA prospect.
During the World Congress of Sports conference in California, Raveling, Nike's director of international basketball and the first African-American coach in Pac-12 history (Washington State), called LaVar Ball "the worst thing to happen to basketball in the last hundred years," according to the SportsBusinessJournal.
That prompted Friday's response.
"Let me tell you something: I know I'm on the right step because if nothing ain't happen like this in 100 years, guess what? We in a new lane, baby," LaVar Ball said via Instagram. "That Big Baller Brand about to be your competition."
Ball became a viral sensation this year after making various claims about his son's talents — "He's better than Steph Curry" — and his own, claiming he would "kill Michael Jordan one-on-one" when he was a younger athlete.
He has used his newfound fame to promote his Big Baller Brand, and suggested his son may sign with the family brand when he turns pro.
He also has demanded a $1 billion shoe contract for Lonzo Ball and his two younger brothers.
Lonzo Ball is the No. 2 prospect on Chad Ford's Big Board on ESPN.com for the upcoming draft.