LaVar Ball talks Facebook docu-series, Lonzo, Lakers, LaMelo’s shoe, and more
Earlier this week, it was announced that LaVar Ball and his family would be the focus of a first-of-a-kind docu-series on Facebook’s Watch called, Ball in the Family.
This series will follow LaVar and the Ball family through their everyday lives as they try to build the Big Baller Brand and watch Lonzo Ball begin his NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The first two episodes of Ball in the Family are available to watch now while new episodes will available on Sundays starting Sept. 10 and will also feature LaVar’s younger kids LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball who are rising stars in the basketball world at Chino Hills high school and at UCLA.
LaVar took some time out of his schedule this week to talk to ClutchPoints in an exclusive interview about his family’s new show along with a number of other topics surrounding the Lakers as well as his sons Lonzo and LaMelo.
Ryan Ward: What motivated you to go through with the docu-series about your family?
LaVar Ball: “It was just something that needed to be done. On the fact that, if you want to get this footage of us as a family and get the background of what is going on, for real. This was the perfect way to do it. It’s so genuine.”
“Facebook has allowed us to be ourselves and capture the moment.”
How did the partnership with Facebook come together to make this happen?
LB: “It was great. On the fact that, they want to do something new and we want to do something new because that’s the way we are, Big Baller Brand!
“We had some deals on the table with some networks. NBC and a couple of other ones on TV. Who watches TV anymore? Nobody watching TV like that, so this is a heck of a platform. We both win. Great content and I can be myself.”
Will the show follow you and/or Lonzo into Staples Center during his rookie season?
LB: “Guess what the name of the show is? The show is not, ‘The LaVar Ball Show.’ The show is called, ‘Ball in the Family.’ They going to follow everybody in the family.”
So they’re okay with your show going into Staples Center and filming in there?
LB: “They might do some stuff at Staples if they’re allowed to, but it’s not a big deal. This is more on the fact that they get to see us in a different light. A lot of people think my boys are super focused with no emotion or nothing.
“On the fact that you’re only interviewing them before or after a game. So you get the same person all the time. You don’t get this rare footage where we laughing and having fun. Everybody thinks it’s basketball, basketball, basketball. Focused on basketball. That’s it. There’s more to us than that.
“That’s just something we enjoy to do. It’s a passion that my boys have. It’s just like my passion is not basketball and football. My passion is training.”
What did the Lakers say when they heard about the show? Any concerns expressed?
LB: “What did the Lakers say? They don’t got to ask me nothing. I ain’t going to ask them nothing. This thing got nothing to do with the Lakers. This is what my boys and my family do. What we do, on the outside.
“As long as he [Lonzo] produce on that court and do what he suppose to do…this is what people get caught up on. ‘Oh shoot! Lamar Odom started dating Khloe Kardashian.’
“We ain’t got no stories like that, so we’re not going to fall into that trap where we got to do all these red carpet treatments and all this stuff to be somebody we not. Facebook is just following us and capturing these moments and putting them together to say, ‘Wow, this is an incredible family.’
“That’s their vision of it and my vision of it. And guess what, we on the same page. Everybody is in their lane. Stay in yo lane!”
On the Lakers side of things, did you hear about the anti-tampering violation concerning Paul George?
LB: “Anti-tampering? No. I haven’t heard about none of that stuff on the fact that I’m concentrating on Facebook and my family. I ain’t got time to be seeing what the Lakers be doing.
“All I know is my son is on there, and he’s going to make everybody want to come to the Lakers. I ain’t doing no tampering and Lonzo ain’t doing no tampering. Whatever they want to say about the Lakers that’s on them.
“Lakers will be winning, and I’ll catch you at the playoffs.”
When do you envision the Lakers becoming a legitimate title contender again?
LB: “A title contender? They’re there. This year! When you got Lonzo Ball on your team special things happen. That’s what people don’t understand. Lonzo’s famous attribute is the winning. That boy been winning a long time.
“Went to Chino Hills, you never heard of them. Winning. Now it’s Chino Hills, ‘Oh my gosh, Ball brothers.’ UCLA. Before Lonzo went there, they weren’t even relevant. He put them back to the top in one year.
“He sold out arenas in Chino Hills. He sold out arenas at UCLA. You think he going to get to the Lakers and don’t sell the arena out? You must be crazy. It’s a pattern. You don’t think he gonna win? Lonzo wants to be the best player in the world.”
There’s one rumor I saw this week that I didn’t believe. Is Steve Nash working with Lonzo in any way?
LB: “I’d say no. The reason I say no because if he was, my son would’ve said, ‘You know what I’m working out with Steve Nash.’
“What Steve Nash going to teach my boy? He’s short and slow, man. Come on.”
You recently said you want to inspire families and small business owners to bet on themselves. Was there a person, business or company that inspired you to create Big Baller Brand?
LB: “No, no. Big Baller Brand is my thing.”
As a former football player, did you ever consider your son playing football or were you turned off by the recent research on CTE?
LB: “My boys played football when they were younger. It’s just they understood how good they were when they were able to get on the court at six and seven years old playing against 12 and 13-year-olds in the sixth grade.
“The fact they played so high up in basketball, that’s telling you right there how good your talent is. I can’t have them play football and say, ‘Okay, you’re seven years old, but I want you to play against a 12-year-old.’ They’d break their neck.
“In basketball, they just had a passion for it…Both my boys could throw and catch that ball. Melo would be the best DB out there. Gelo would’ve been the best receiver out there. Lonzo would’ve been the quarterback ever, but their passion was for basketball.”
Big Baller Brand recently came to an agreement to have Lonzo’s signature shoes in NBA 2K18. Did you ever envision Big Baller Brand working with 2K?
LB: “I never envisioned it because I never even thought about it.”
In your prime, what would your player rating be in NBA 2K18?
LB: “What? Do you know who this is on the line? You ask me what the rating would be. You know it would be 110!
“LaVar Ball rating on 2K? If it ain’t 110, I’d tell them to pull me out the game.”
LaMelo Ball came out with his signature shoe today. What do think about the fact it could hurt his eligibility at UCLA?
LB: “Here’s the thing, man. I ain’t worried about no NCAA when I’m creating something for my boy within my family. He’s not even in NCAA right now. What do I care about that for? They’re not going to be like, ‘You know what, LaVar? I don’t care it’s your family brand but don’t release that shoe.”
“Stop it! They can’t stop me from doing nothing. It’s a hot topic because they scared. I’m not going to ask somebody else what I can do with my stuff. That’s what they don’t get. Just like I said if they say it messes up his eligibility and he can’t play. Well, I guess he can’t play. Oh well. We’ll worry about that when we get there.
“In two years, he is in high school still. They may even change the rules by next year. You know what, you can go to the pros right out of high school.”
What’s the biggest misconception from the public about you and the Ball family?
LB: “They think I’m just talking. This [expletive] can’t be true what I’m saying. It got to be!
“I told them years ago that my boys are going to put Chino Hills on the map. You know what that sounds like 10 years ago? A father that’s just bragging a lot. Come on, for real?
“Now before you can even say “Ch…” you’re talking about the Ball boys.”