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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‘NBA 2K’ Fans Praise LaVar Ball for Snagging a Spot in the Latest Version of the Game

Did you think LaVar Ball was finally going to fall back after Michael Jordan roasted him in early August? Or after Kenan Thomspon nailed a hilarious impression of him on SNL: Weekend Update? Or after Ice Cube crushed him in a shooting contest during a Big3 event in Los Angeles? Think again.

Yes, LaVar did take a few Ls throughout the month of August. But he’s more than bounced back since then by notching a few impressive victories. He received a huge compliment from Jay Z, who revealed that he purchased several pairs of the Big Baller Brand sneakers LaVar helped launch for his son Lonzo. He also announced that he was helping release a new BBB sneaker for his 16-year-old son LaMelo. He scored a reality show on Facebook for the entire Ball family. And most recently, he earned what might just be his most impressive W yet.

Even though he never played basketball professionally—and even though his 2.2 points per game scoring average in college has become a punchline for a lot of NBA fans—LaVar managed to snag a spot in the new NBA 2K game that hits stores later this month. And he’s going to be doing more than just tweeting in NBA 2K18 as previously announced.

LaVar will also play a role in the game’s MyCareer mode and will apparently send players crazy text messages as they try to build a name for themselves in the game.

Some NBA 2K players will probably be annoyed by this once they start playing the game. But for now, the majority of them are praising LaVar for finessing his way into the game in the first place.

Say what you want to say about the guy, but it is pretty impressive to see LaVar score a role in a game like NBA 2K when you consider that he wasn’t even on most peoples’ radars just one year ago.

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Lonzo Ball Debuted What Sounds Like the Big Baller Brand Theme Song

In case they haven't beaten you over the head with it enough by now, the Ball family is all about their brand. Big Baller Brand may be the most absurd name for a luxury brand you've ever heard in your life, but that has not stopped them from peddling sneakers and new gear at every possible juncture.

Their latest effort to corner the market is a push to market signature sneakers for LaMelo Ball, the high schooler who is just as famous for his terrible shot selection as he is scoring 90+ points in a single game. LaVar Ball has been defiant despite possible backlash from the NCAA, and rather than back down from selling the shoe, the Ball family threw a big party over the weekend to celebrate the release of LaMelo's first signature shoe.

But the shoe might not be the biggest headline from the weekend. Big brother Lonzo Ball showed up to the release party, and the part-time rapper decided to get behind the mic and assist in turning up the party. His performance was nothing special, but the song he participated in definitely is—it sounds like there is a Big Baller Brand theme song, because of fucking course there is.

If LaVar has any say on the matter, you'll be hearing the words, “Triple B's in this thang,” over and over again on a television and radio station near you. They may want to switch up the performers on this one if it's a route they want to pursue; Lonzo isn't the worst rapper in the world, but his stage presence is a little lacking here.

If the response on social media is any indication, the public would like the Big Baller Theme to die an early, fiery death. 

I won't be the first or last person to say this, but let's hope Lonzo is putting in as much work preparing for the upcoming NBA season as he is at building his family's brand. If you're going to attack a hip-hop legend at the same time you're offering up this weak shit, maybe just keep it all to yourself. 

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Lil B Threatens to Put BasedGod Curse on Lonzo Ball for Nas Comments

If you're an athlete of any reasonable stature, the last thing you want is to be afflicted by a curse that keeps you from maximizing your success. One man has been at the center of athlete curses over the last few years, and it appears the BasedGod might have another victim in mind.

So who's the guilty party this time? It's not an NBA All-Star, it's not a veteran who has tortured Lil B's favorite team, and in fact, it's not even a player who has participated in an NBA game yet. This time, it's a rookie, as Lonzo Ball appears to be the newest target for the BasedGod's curse.

If you haven't been paying attention, the comment Lil B is referring to came earlier in the week, when Ball dismissed the relevance of the Queensbridge legend, declaring more recent rappers are “real hip hop” in an episode of the Ball clan's new reality series, Ball in the Family. 

“Y’all outdated, man. Don’t nobody listen to Nas anymore,” said Ball. “Real hip-hop is Migos, Future.”

As you might expect, a teenager disrespecting Nas—a rapper with some of the greatest albums of all-time under his belt—did not go over well with the public, and Lil B is on the verge of taking the backlash to a completely different level. With Ball on the verge of joining former cursed athletes like James Harden and Kevin Durant, the BasedGod's warning was met with applause on Twitter.

The BasedGod also made sure to mention departed Lakers guard D'Angelo Russell, who drew the ire of plenty when he dimed out the habits of former teammate Nick Young. Lil B seems displeased about the character of recent Lakers point guards, Ball included.

So far, the BasedGod's curse has done nothing to slow down the Ball family's takeover of all things sports and pop culture. The loudmouth behind Big Baller Brand, LaVar Ball, is all set to make an appearance in NBA 2K18. Yes, even in a video game you can be told you're not a big baller.

They're not out of the woods yet, however. It sounds like things could get real bad, real fast for the Ball clan if Lonzo doesn't get his act together.

And the family is taking this threat seriously, or so it seems, because the youngest member of the family, LaMelo Ball, is singing Lil B's praises on Twitter.

Since the BasedGod recently lifted the curse on Harden and welcomed Durant to the Bay Area with open arms, there almost needs to be a new high-profile athlete in his sights. Enter Ball, who now has this to weigh on top of the usual rookie pressure. Good luck, kid. 

Send all complaints, compliments, and tips to sportstips@complex.com.

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Lil Yachty Goes Sneaker Shopping

Platinum-selling artist Lil Yachty is one of the most positive and stylish rappers in the game right now, and he met up with Joe La Puma at Flight Club in Los Angeles for the latest episode of Complex's Sneaker Shopping. In the episode, Yachty talks about the sneakers he wanted growing up and how Reebok offered him his own sneaker collaboration.

Yachty admits that he didn't have a lot of sneakers growing up, and his first pair of “cool” shoes ended up being a pair of fake Air Jordan VIIs. He also talks about how he didn't want the Nike Air More Uptempos until Supreme did a collaboration on them and confesses that he was a total hypebeast for the sneakers. During the shoot, Yachty talks about wanting the Nike Mags as a teenager and says he finally bought a pair for $14,000. He goes on to talk about Big Baller Brand, compares his collection to DJ Khaled's, and talks his Sprite commercial with LeBron James. In the end, he spends over $2,100 on Air Jordans and Nike SB Dunks.

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