Big Baller Brand: Don’t Believe The Hype

Complex’s weekly series Don’t Believe the Hype takes a look at what’s hot and what’s just hot air. Sneakers, clothes, tech, food—nothing is safe. Perhaps no new sneaker brand has had as much hype as the controversial Big Baller Brand. Now that two members of the Ball Family, Lonzo and LaMelo, have their own sneaker, its only fitting that Speedy and Complex staffers put them head-to-head, off the court and on the court. Find out which Ball is the bigger baller on this episode of Don’t Believe The Hype. 

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LifeAtComplex: A Little Big Baller Teaser

On this episode Lil Tony and Big Tony go off-site to shoot a segment of the Don’t Believe The Hype episode. Both Tony’s test out the Big Baller Brand signature sneakers. Lonzo and Melo Ball would be proud, make sure to stay tuned for that episode. Later on Marcus from the Snapchat team lets us know what he is cooking up with the team.   

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Bow Wow Says Even Beating Lonzo Ball One Time ‘Means a Lot’

Back in late February, Bow Wow took a break from taking L's to add one of the most impressive wins of his entire career to his résumé. He beat Lonzo Ball in a shooting contest following a Lakers/Hawks game in Atlanta.

While Lonzo was quick to point out that Bow Wow only beat him in one round and didn’t actually win the whole contest, that didn’t seem to matter to Bow Wow at all. He continued to brag about his accomplishment in the days that followed.

It’s been about two weeks now since Bow Wow and Ball went to war on the court, but just in case you were wondering, Bow Wow is still basking in his glory and celebrating the fact that he kept up with an NBA player for a single round of a shooting contest.

TMZ Sports caught up with Bow Wow on Monday night, and he was more than happy to talk about getting the best of Big Baller Brand’s lead endorser. Bow Wow was asked if he thought Lonzo “let him win”—and Bow Wow was quick to point out the flaw in that logic and to explain why he was so proud of what he did.

“Did Lonzo Ball let me win? Let me explain,” Bow Wow said. “Lonzo Ball came to Atlanta, they was playing the Atlanta Hawks…They blew us out, and we got the word that Lonzo and the Lakers was in the club. I said, 'Yo, bring them to the studio.' They came. Lonzo won two games. I won one. But it’s a fact that I don’t train, I smoke weed, and I make music and I act. I don’t got no time to be training. So the fact that I beat him one time means a lot.”

Bow Wow also told TMZ Sports he would be open to having a rematch with Lonzo whenever he wants to play.

On the one hand, Bow Wow should probably STFU and stop talking about beating Lonzo before the Lakers rookie comes back, takes the rematch seriously, and wipes the floor with him. But on the other, it’s not hard to see why he keeps talking about this. If you beat an NBA player in, well, anything, wouldn’t you brag about it for weeks on end?

Lonzo hasn’t responded to Bow Wow’s latest boasts, but you can bet he’s probably going to end up making another stop at Bow Wow’s court the next time he’s in Atlanta. Check out the clip above to hear Bow Wow talk more about his moment of glory.

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Drake’s Dad Cosigns LaVar Ball: ‘He’s an Outspoken Guy’

Drake's pops is officially a Big Baller. According to TMZone of music's most famous fathers is a supporter to one of basketball's most famous fathers. Dennis Graham is the latest person to cosign LaVar Ball and the Big Baller Brand. 

 

“I love [LaVar Ball] because he's outspoken,” says Graham. “He's an outspoken guy and that's what you gotta be. You gotta speak your mind.” 

While the fair share of people don't seem to share the same sentiment for the Godfather of Big Ballers, Graham has no problem with the father's headline-grabbing antics. 

“People have been kissing butts for too long. He doesn't do that. He speaks his mind,” Graham told TMZ.

The father of the 6 God definitely isn't lying either. If there's one thing that Ball does, it's speak his mind. In just this past year alone, he has been involved in an feud of sorts with the President, called out the Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton, and professed he could beat Michael Jordan in a game of 1-on-1. In fact, there isn't much that Ball won't say, which is what has made him such a polarizing figure in sports and put the entire Ball family at the forefront of sports conversations for the better part of the past year. 

While Ball has solidified his spot on the unofficial Top 10 list of celebrity fathers, Graham has also done his fair share to occupy a spot with his impeccable suit game and cameos in everything from Drake's music videos to ads for his Virginia Black whiskey (along with a fantastic slogan).

While his haters will remain abundant, a Dennis Graham cosign could do wonders for the LaVar and Big Baller Brand. Better yet, it might even plant the seed for a future Lonzo Ball/Drizzy collabo track or a BBB x Drake sneaker given the rapper's shaky situation with Jordan Brand. One can only hope.

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People Are Clowning Rajon Rondo for Wearing Velcro Shoes to Cavs/Celtics Game

With Paul Pierce set to have his no. 34 Boston Celtics jersey retired after the team's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, a few people from The Truth's Celtics days were there to show their support. Kevin Garnett, Doc Rivers, and Rajon Rondo sat next to one another courtside, and wait, wait, wait, what in the world are these shoes on Rondo's feet?! 

Someone was quick to zoom in on Rondo's, um, unique kicks and essentially open the roasting floodgates. 

And Twitter knew what to do from there. 

People can't be out here taking fashion risks anymore. 

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High School Ballers Are Putting LaVar Ball on Blast for Trying to Slide Into DMs to Recruit for Pro League

In late December, LaVar Ball made a stunning announcement. Just weeks after pulling his son LiAngelo out of UCLA and saying he planned on preparing him for the NBA himself, the Ball family patriarch revealed he is going to start his own league called the Junior Basketball Association for those players who don’t want to take part in NCAA basketball.

At the time, Ball said he thought it would be “easy” to convince kids to play in the JBA. The plan was to give all players a salary of somewhere between $3,000 and $10,000 and have them play in major cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta.

But it sounds like Ball has run into some trouble recruiting prospects to play in the league. According to high school and college basketball recruiting site Tipton Edits, Ball has used social media DMs to contact about 80 high school players to gauge their interest in playing in the JBA. But all of the top recruits have reportedly turned him down, and two, in particular, have put him on blast for his method of going about recruiting.

Tyler Herro, who hails from Wisconsin and is slated to attend Kentucky next season, is one of the players who was contacted by Ball. He shared a screenshot of the message he received from Big Baller Brand before revealing he declined the offer.

Jalen Carey, a guard from New Jersey who will attend Syracuse next season, was also approached by Ball about joining the JBA. He, too, declined the offer he received and shared a screenshot of it on Snapchat.

In fairness to Ball, trying to contact potential JBA recruits through DMs is probably the most efficient way for him to do it at this time since he’s spent most of the last month in Lithuania with LiAngelo and his youngest son LaMelo. But as SB Nation pointed out, he’s getting a whole bunch of rejections from players right now, so it’s probably time for him to switch up his method. Otherwise, the JBA might disappear just as quickly as it initially popped up.

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Lakers Rookie Lonzo Ball Made a Footwear-Inspired ‘Fuller House’ Cameo

Lonzo’s $495 Big Baller Brand kicks also made an appearance.

LaVar Ball Keeps Feud Going by Posting GIF of Himself Dunking on Donald Trump

LaVar Ball isn't going to let go of a great marketing opportunity his feud with Donald Trump. On Tuesday, Ball appeared on CNN's New Day where he used Trump's words against him, complaining that he “didn’t get a thank you” from the President of the United States for the three pairs of red, white, and blue Big Baller Brand sneakers he sent to the White House. 

Back in November, Ball was adamant that he would not be saying thank you to Trump, even after he claimed to be the one who spoke to Chinese president Xi Jinping​, and helped bring LaVar's son LiAngelo, as well as former UCLA freshmen Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, back home. “I don't have to go around saying thank you to everybody,” he told Chris Cuomo during their interview last month. 

Earlier today, LaVar added more fuel to the fire by posting a GIF which shows him dunking on Trump. 

When the GIF zooms in on the Twitter app on the phone, you can see a tweet from Ball's account, saying, “Stay in yo lane @realDonaldTrump! The Big Baller will put you on a poster.” It will probably only be a matter of time before Trump responds and gives LaVar exactly what he wants—more free yet valuable publicity. 

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Donald Trump’s Tweets Gave LaVar Ball an Estimated $13 Million Advertising Boost

Aside from being marketed as the biggest retail shopping day of the year, November 24 marked the expected ship date of Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball’s $495 ZO2 Prime Remix. 

Ball Family patriarch LaVar Ball recently took to Twitter to send a not so subtle reminder about the launch.

“The only thing better than finishing this chocolate cake is Big Baller Brand has released the ZO2s,” Ball said via a video he posted to Twitter Friday. “They are in flight…tonight.” 

Lonzo Ball, the actual face of Big Baller Brand, is in the midst of an uneven season punctuated by a historic triple-double and cringe-worthy shooting performances, while his father and BBB founder LaVar Ball has squared off with President Trump and any talking head that would grant him airtime.

Trump’s infamous “I should have left them in jail” tweet regarding LiAngelo Ball’s shoplifting incident and what was, to his twisted mind, LaVar’s insufficiently obsequious response, may ultimately prove to be a net positive. The tweet from November 19 might have provided eight figures worth of essentially free advertising for the Ball’s upstart apparel company.

“LaVar Ball’s ongoing feud with President Donald Trump is estimated to have given the company more than $13 million in equivalent advertising value, according to a sponsorship evaluation firm,” ESPN’s Nick DePaula and Darren Rovell noted in a recent ESPN report.

To be clear, this wasn’t exactly a feud. A sitting president sent some petty tweets at American citizens for not showing what he deemed the proper amount of gratitude for an international incident he has yet to prove he helped fix

Much has been made over Ball and his father eschewing major sneaker brands to launch their Big Baller Brand imprint. DePaula and Rovell estimate the family’s reported asking price of $1 billion cost them a $10 million guaranteed deal from at least one of the four major sports apparel companies.

You can read DePaula and Rovell’s full report via ESPN.

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Kobe Bryant Has Words for Big Baller Brand

Besides Michael Jordan, few athletes have been able to match the footwear output and quality that Kobe Bryant was able to achieve during his NBA career. From Adidas to Nike, it's safe to say that he's the second best basketball player in signature shoe history (there, I said it). This past week, Bryant had choice words for another Los Angeles Laker looking to break into the signature shoe game, Lonzo Ball.

During an interview with CNBC, Bryant said about Ball's Big Baller Brand, “It's not good enough to have a shoe and launch a shoe. In that market, in that business, you have to make sure the product is there. That's the only way you can challenge the big guys, is if the innovation and the quality of the product is there.”

It's funny because Lonzo's ZO2 sneakers with BBB are a clear rip off of Bryant's signature sneakers with Nike. With this happening, the guys at Full Size Run (myself included) decided to break down what Kobe's words mean.

Watch the episode above.

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