Is Lonzo Ball’s Trainer Trolling Nas With This Photoshopped T-Shirt?

The Lonzo Ball and Nas saga continues.

A photo of Ball's manager/trainer Darren Moore wearing a T-shirt with a Photoshopped version of Nas' 1996 album It Was Written with Ball's face on the cover rather than Nas' face has surfaced. Lonzo posted the picture, which includes fellow Lakers star Brandon Ingram and others, to Instagram on Wednesday night with the caption “H8FUL 8️⃣ .” 

 

H8FUL 8️⃣

A post shared by Lonzo Ball (@zo) on Oct 11, 2017 at 5:22pm PDT

Nas and Lonzo haven't been on the best of terms since the 19-year-old made some disparaging comments about the legendary Queens MC. It all started when the season premiere of Ball in the Family aired. In it, Ball said, “Y’all outdated, man. Don’t nobody listen to Nas anymore…Real hip-hop is Migos, Future.”

The comment, understandably, didn't sit well with many rap fans.

Even philosopher and critical race theorist Lil B threatened to curse Lonzo for his Nas remarks. 

Shortly after Lonzo made the comments about Nas not being relevant anymore, Nas' manager fired back on Twitter, saying that Nas has no idea who Lonzo even is. 

But who knows? If Lonzo—who has been dropping rap songs left and right lately—keeps this up, the “beef” between him and Nas might end up spilling over onto some tracks. At this point, would you even be surprised?

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It Sounds Like Lonzo Ball Is Taking This Rap Thing Pretty Seriously

Los Angeles Lakers' Lonzo Ball is set to drop new music soon. Ball, who's made headlines recently with his 21 Savage and Jay Z comparisons, opened up about his musical ambitions in a new interview with XXL. Ball discussed his early musical influences, the importance of Lil Wayne, and his future plans.

As a kid, Ball revealed, he listened to “a lot” of 50 Cent and DMX. “Those were probably the two main rappers I was listening to when I was young, but my favorite rapper has always been Lil Wayne,” Ball said. As for why Weezy stands tallest among his influences, Ball said he feels the Young Money boss has remained consistent with his output. “Lyrically, he's definitely one of my favorites to do it,” he said. “I need him to be free so he could put that other album out for me, but he's already put a lot towards the game.” Ball credits his father, a devoted 2Pac fan, for introducing him to music.

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As for his plans to follow his debut single “Melo Ball 1,” Ball revealed he's currently working on new music. In fact, the next Lonzo Ball release will be backed by the family-owned Big Baller Music Group. “I won't be able to to do so since I'm focused on the NBA season ahead, but definitely one of my dad's close people that he works with will handle the record label,” Ball said. So far, Ball hasn't enlisted any guests for the mystery project.

Ball also noted what he's been listening to the most recently, including 21 Savage's Issa Album and Lil Uzi Vert's Luv Is Rage 2. Check out the full interview here.

Ball turned a few purists' heads earlier this month with his Nas comments. Nas, however, apparently has no idea who Lonzo Ball even is.

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Lonzo Ball Doubles Down on Nas Comment, Says Future and Migos Are ‘Real Hip-Hop’

As if the Ball family hadn't done enough to anger the powers that be, Lonzo Ball's recent diss of Nas sent the public into hysterics. Discrediting the work of a legend in the same breath that you're giving props to Future and Migos angered a lot of hip-hop purists, who are not a forgiving bunch to begin with.

Now we finally have some clarification on his comments, and they don't sound as harsh as they came across originally. During a radio interview with Marcellus Wiley and Kelvin Washington on ESPNLA, Ball said he was only discussing Nas' current popularity among the people he's friends with.

“They told me that the goal for the next two months was [to get me to listen] to real hip-hop, I replied that's not gon' happen, and the first person who popped into my head was Nas, because obviously he's real hip-hop.”

“So I'm like, nobody listens to Nas no more, which I think is true, because of my friends ain't nobody bumping Nas no more, no disrespect to him. He had his time, I just think it's a new time. And then the next question was, what is real hip-hop to you? And I said real hip-hop is Future and Migos, so that's how it all went down.”

“Everybody went crazy with it, but that's my side right there.”

While Ball did clear up that he believes Nas is real hip-hop, I would have to question any group of friends who listen to rap music and don't have some sort of Nas music on a Spotify playlist, even if it's just a song or two. There's plenty to choose from here, whether it's “New York State of Mind,” “If I Ruled the World,” “One Mic,” “Made You Look,” or any number of classic Nas records from over the years.

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No one would really debate that Nas is still at the forefront of the game anymore, and younger artists have certainly pushed him further down the pecking order. So Ball's claim may sound a bit dismissive, but ultimately he's probably right about his popularity. His last album, 2012's Life is Good, did peak at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, but it remains his lowest-selling album to date.

In any case, Nas doesn't seem all that concerned about what a teenager thinks of him anyway. His manager claims the rapper doesn't even know who Ball is, and as long as that Hennessy cash keeps rolling in, Nas seems content to lurk in the background as he prepares to release his next album, which is nearly completed.

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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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LaMelo Ball and Zion Williamson Played in What Might Go Down as the Craziest AAU Game Ever

Earlier this month, Lonzo Ball put on a show while playing for the Lakers in the Las Vegas Summer League. After struggling to find his shooting touch in his first game with the team, he recorded a triple-double in his second game and then absolutely exploded during his third game by going off for 36 points, 8 rebounds, 11 assists, 5 steals, and 2 blocks. He put together several other impressive performances before being sidelined with a leg injury, but that injury didn’t prevent him from being named the Las Vegas Summer League MVP.

Despite all of that, though, you can now make the argument that LaMelo Ball, not Lonzo, took part in the craziest game in Las Vegas this summer. And some people are already saying that the game might go down as one of the craziest games in AAU history.

On Wednesday night, LaMelo’s Big Ballers AAU team took the court at the Cashman Center in Las Vegas for an Adidas Uprising Summer Championships game against the SC Supreme AAU team, a South Carolina-based squad that features top college recruit Zion Williamson. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Williamson, he has made a name for himself by putting together one highlight reel after another filled with sick dunks and incredibly athletic plays:

Prior to the game, LaMelo’s dad LaVar Ball, who is the coach of the Big Ballers team, tried to hype up the contest by predicting that LaMelo would go off for 40 or 50 points during an interview with Overtime:

He also spoke about how he believes that he and LaMelo could beat Michael Jordan and LeBron James in a game of 2-on-2 while talking with Overtime:

But truthfully, the game didn’t need any more hype than it already had heading into the contest. According to ESPN, between 3,000 and 4,000 people made their way into the Cashman Center to watch the game. People were packed into every square inch of the gym long before the game started:

NBA stars Damian Lillard, Andrew Wiggins, Thon Maker, Jamal Murray, Eric Gordon, and of course, his brother Lonzo Ball were among those in attendance:

And in addition to all of the people inside the gym, there were reportedly another 1,500 waiting outside hoping to get in to watch LaMelo and Williamson play. Here's a look at the line before the game:

There were so many people that, at one point, LeBron showed up hoping to watch the much-anticipated matchup. But he was reportedly advised not to come into the gym because of the crowd:

Several college coaches, who are used to attending AAU games like this one throughout the year, said that Wednesday night's game was unlike anything they had ever seen before:

The closest comparison most people had for the game was the games LeBron played in back in the early 2000s when he was in high school:

Despite the obvious excitement surrounding the game, it was unclear if it would even be played just minutes before it was scheduled to start. One of the organizers for the event told ESPN that local police didn’t give the final OK for the game to begin until about 60 seconds before tip time.

And it wasn’t just people in Las Vegas who were clamoring to see LaMelo and Williamson play, either. Ball Is Life put up a livestream of the game that, according to SB Nation, drew more than 70,000 viewers at one point. In total, the livestream has been viewed more than one million times in just 12 hours:

The game itself was almost an afterthought after everything that led up to it, but both LaMelo and Williamson more than lived up to the hype they generated. LaMelo finished with 36 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 assists, while Williamson finished with 31 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 steals (not to mention several thunderous dunks). But ultimately, SC Supreme pulled out a 104-92 win in front of a packed house. You can watch highlights, courtesy of Overtime, here:

And when it was all over, LaVar stated the obvious while speaking with ESPN. He said that, moving forward, AAU organizers are going to need to pick larger arenas if they want to invite Big Ballers to play.

“They’re gonna have to get a bigger venue,” he said. “When the Big Baller brand come to town, better get something big.”

Whether you love or hate what LaVar and his sons are doing right now, this is just another example of how much chaos they’re creating out there in the world.

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Lonzo Ball on Whether He’s Starting a Sneaker Bidding War: ‘Something Like That’

Over the last three Summer League games, Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball has worn everything but his Big Baller Brand ZO2 shoes. Last Wednesday, Ball was spotted rocking the Nike Kobe AD. 

Two days later, Ball wore James Harden's signature Adidas shoe.

Then, Lonzo rocked the Under Armour Curry 4 personally sent to him by Steph.

Lonzo's ever-changing footwear of choice doesn't appear to be bothering his father LaVar one bit. “That boy can play barefoot and do the same thing. He’s just letting them know he can play in any shoe he feels like,” LaVar told ESPN. “That’s how that Big Baller Brand roll. We’ve got that independence. We don’t have to be strapped down. You know how many players want to do that?”

Prior to Sunday's Lakers game against the Dallas Mavericks, ESPN's Cassidy Hubbarth pointed out his latest footwear of choice tonight and wondered if there was an ulterior motive in the works. “You're wearing the Jordan 31s tonight … are you trying to start a bidding war here?,” Hubbarth asked. “Something like that,” Ball replied.

Regardless of what he throws on his feet, Lonzo is still balling out—no pun intended—against the Mavs.

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LaVar Ball Shoots Down Rumor About Lonzo Ducking De’Aaron Fox in Summer League

 

Earlier this week, the Lakers held Lonzo Ball out of a Summer League game against the Kings. And while that normally wouldn’t be all that big of a deal, Lonzo was scheduled to square off against De’Aaron Fox in that game for the first time since Fox got the better of him during Kentucky’s win over UCLA in the 2017 NCAA Tournament. So some NBA fans suspected Lonzo was skipping the game in an effort to duck Fox.

Fox himself even seemed to suggest that Lonzo was ducking him when he sent out this tweet that he deleted later:

Since then, Lonzo has silenced those who criticized him for sitting out that game by playing his two best Summer League games thus far. But some fans are still wondering why he didn’t play against the Kings, especially since he’s looked healthy in other games this week.

While attending an AAU tournament with his youngest son LaMelo on Thursday, LaVar Ball was asked about Lonzo’s absence during the Kings game. And as you might expect, he downplayed all of the speculation surrounding why his son sat out of the game. He said Lonzo isn’t “scared of nobody” and scoffed at the idea of Lonzo sitting out to avoid playing against a particular opponent:

“We don’t do that shit,” he said. “We ain’t scared of nobody. What you talking about? Y’all can think whatever y’all want. Whatever Magic [Johnson] and Rob [Pelinka] got him doing is what they got him doing.”

The speculation surrounding Lonzo skipping the game against the Kings has been kind of silly. We could understand people questioning him missing the game if there was some random streetball player taking part in the Summer League that had it out for him. But we’re pretty sure Fox is going to make the Kings roster next season, and we’re pretty sure Lonzo is going to have to play against him at some point. So what exactly would be the point of him ducking him in a Summer League game?

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