LaVar Ball says he could have beaten Michael Jordan back in the day
And he wants a $1 billion endorsement contract for his sons
Don’t ever accuse LaVar Ball of not aiming high. The father of UCLA’s Lonzo Ball has made his presence felt in recent weeks, and this time he’s set an asking price for his sons’ sneaker deal: $1 billion. Somehow, this is the least outlandish thing he’s said all year.
There was the initial declaration that his son, Lonzo, only had plans to play one year before going pro, an awfully bold comment for a sport where fate and futures can turn on a dime. Then, he claimed that Lonzo was better than Stephen Curry. He famously declared that Lonzo would only be playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. Following that, he got into a public spat with Charles Barkley, a feud that felt like two uncles arguing at the cookout. Most recently, he claimed that he himself was a better basketball player than Michael Jordan back in his day, which is laughable.
The apparel contract stuff is real business, though. For his three sons: Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo, he’s asking for the 10-figure number from one of the big companies and says that if they don’t get it, they’ll start their own. Some have speculated that his loud antics could potentially hurt his sons’ future college or pro careers. LaVar himself says he’s not doing anything more than protecting his kids from exploitation. His approach brings to mind two other patron saints of black sports parenting, Earl Woods and Richard Williams.
Woods was known for his driving style on Tiger, who eventually grew up to revolutionize the golf world. Williams was even more maligned, as he was coaching and raising not one, but two girls in Venus and Serena, who’d eventually become the two most popular tennis players on earth by a wide margin. In short, the methods to their madness were effective.
But the Balls are in a different situation. For one, they’re playing basketball, a sport that’s already undergone its cultural boom for the most part. We’re not talking about primarily country-club sports that for various socioeconomic and cultural reasons had not accepted brown faces for the most part. It’s basketball. At this point, Lonzo is just another kid who might go No. 1 overall in the NBA draft, while LaMelo, the youngest is not bolstering his reputation by scoring 92 points in high school game under questionable circumstances. Of course, there’s also LiAngelo, the forgotten Ball.
But if his three sons turn out to be something like Tiger Woods, Venus and Serena Williams and, say, LeBron James combined, then that $1 billion number isn’t that outlandish. People are already saying that Lonzo is the second coming of Magic Johnson, which on its own, if true, makes his starting point in negotiations understandable. Ultimately, that’s the issue — there’s no way to know if that’ll be the case.
Don’t expect LaVar to back down. You might poke fun at the way he operates, including down to the way he named his kids, but he’s just continuing a family tradition. His own brothers are named LaFrance, LaValle, LaRenzo and LaShon. He won’t be backing down just because a couple of people think he’s too loud. At 6-foot-6 and 320 pounds, I’m not sure a lot people are going to be able to make him do so, either.
What Are Those?!: 3/10/17
John Ross’ record-setting 40-yard dash in Nikes and Paul George’s debut signature sneaker
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Marcus Matthews is back from vacation. You know what that means? A new What Are Those?! podcast! Marcus returned from a trip to Colombia, joining me to chop it up about what types of sneakers he packs for trips and the key to finding exclusive shoes in any given destination.
On this week’s show, we also discuss the decision of former University of Washington wide receiver and NFL draft prospect John Ross to wear Nikes instead of Adidas cleats while running the fastest 40-yard dash in the history of the NFL combine. Ross ran a 4.22, breaking Chris Johnson’s nearly 10-year-old record, and if he would’ve worn the Adizero 5-star 40 cleats while doing so, Adidas would’ve given him his own $1 million island. Nope. He went with the Nike Vapor 4.2 cleats, and his reason behind not going with Adidas is glorious.
Next up is a what we all love to do when it comes to sneakers: Debate! Nike recently debuted the first signature sneaker in Indiana Pacers star Paul George’s career. The question is, Should PG-13 actually have his own shoe? Marcus argues why he shouldn’t. I argue why he should.
Lastly, if there’s one thing we learned this week, it’s that Marcus is holding out on the heat! He’s got a pair of “Must Be The Honey” LeBron Xs that he’s only worn a few times. He’s thinking about selling them. Right now, they’re on eBay from $1,650. What should he do?
Give it a listen, and if you have any feedback or show ideas, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daily Dose: 3/10/17
Nicki Minaj replies to Remy Ma, sort of
3:00 PMIf you missed The Morning Roast filling in for The Right Time with Bomani Jones, you can check out all three hours. We’re on again this afternoon from 4 to 7 p.m. EST. You can listen live here.
Nicki Minaj is taking a different route. Look, how she chooses to address her beef with Remy Ma is her choice, but she’s taking an interesting path to an attempt at victory. After Remy Ma came for Nicki’s whole life with “shETHER,” the latter took quite a bit of time to respond. Now, she has, but with three separate songs, two of which are collaborations. Ultimately, she’s probably made the better tracks, which will gain her more cash in the long run, but in the world of musical insults, this wasn’t exactly an earthshaker.
Here’s the thing about Get Out. It’s the circumstance that’s the most terrifying, not the specific jump-out moments. The premise seems normal, then something extremely bizarre seems to be unfolding, only to give way to something far more sinister that, if you were paying attention, you might have seen all along. But as extreme as that conclusion is, it only works because the plausible deniability of the situation being real actually makes sense. You know why? Because black folks go missing all the time and nobody cares.
The dreaded hour lost to sleep is here again. Daylight savings time, the thing that’s been responsible for so many missed classes, botched job interviews and otherwise blown appointments is coming up this weekend. For some people, the change is life-altering. Sleep schedules are not easy to establish, and one switch of the clock can throw you all off. It doesn’t bother me that much personally anymore specifically, but when I was in high school it was the death of me. Here are some tips for surviving the change.
So, the Washington NFL franchise is still up to no good. On Thursday, Washington fired Scot McCloughan and did so with all the class in the world. Sike. A team official completely threw the former general manager under the bus, claiming that he was such a constant drunk that it was impossible to work with him. Meanwhile, the culture there among the front office wasn’t any different. Back on the field, now, quarterback Kirk Cousins has signed with the team, which means that if the team want to start shopping him, it can. What a mess.
Coffee Break: It never ceases to amaze me when countries discover massive monuments or statues just chilling underground or underwater. And, now, in a Cairo slum, archaeologists have uncovered a massive statue that just from the picture looks like it’ll take a while to unearth.
Snack Time: If you’ve somehow managed to make it this far throughout the day without seeing this video of a dad talking on television then having his kids bust into the room, you must live under a rock. It’s hilarious.
Dessert: Here’s a great video to get your weekend started, kiddos. The Weeknd in full Michael Jackson mode.
Daily Dose: 3/9/17
‘Star Wars Episode VIII’ takes a turn
Perhaps, it’s just a coincidence, but Hawaii has become the first state to sue the government over President Donald Trump’s travel ban. Of course, that’s Barack Obama’s home state. In all seriousness, though, they’ve probably got the most dire case, as well. The island state is obviously part of the U.S., but travel is obviously required to get there. Suddenly shutting down that ability to do that is clearly crippling.
Wednesday was International Women’s Day, as we noted, and it provided some excellent moments. But, of course, because this is, alas, still a man’s world to quote the late great James Brown, most dudes are sexists as hell and have no idea how or why they operate that way. Anyways, in an attempt to not return to the casual misogyny that is everyday America, Desus & Mero highlight the president’s most anti-women moments in honor of Wednesday.
There was a big reveal in the Star Wars world this week. Well, not really, if you ask me. In a shareholder meeting, a clip of the new film was shown. The beginning of Stars Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi picks up in the final scene of Episode VII in which we see Rey climbing to the top of a mountain to find Luke Skywalker waiting. Well, in the new one he says, “Who are you?” which in some eyes blows up the theory that he is her father. I don’t necessarily believe that, but we’ll see.
Two years ago, I coined the phrase Ashburnistan to describe the environment Dan Snyder has created for Washington’s NFL fans. Every year, something manages to happen that outdoes the last thing, and, at this point, it almost feels like it’s performance art, as far as how they can manage to make something worse. Which was not good. The team’s general manager is locked in a power struggle with the team president. Hilariously predictable, to be honest.
Coffee Break: I don’t make fun of what people do with their babies. I’m just kidding, I’m completely here for that. Whatever it is that Ciara, Russell Wilson and Lil Fewcha are doing in that Harper’s BAZAAR photo shoot, I can’t call it. It is making me laugh, though.
Snack Time: I’m sort of getting the feeling that Bad Boys 3 needs to not happen. The film lost yet another director, giving us yet another delay in the process.
Dessert: I’ll miss Xabi Alonso, personally. Great way to announce his retirement.
Daily Dose: 3/8/17
International Women’s Day is more important than ever
2:45 PMHey, guess what! More radio. Sort of. We did the podcast yesterday, and it got rather deep. We talked Shaq, Terrika Foster-Brasby sat down with Rick Ross and we introduced a new segment called “You Played Yourself.” Check it out.
It’s International Women’s Day today, which means that if you haven’t already, it’s high time you do something about that. Call your mom. Your sister. Your aunt. Your teacher. And because this is still the world we live in, protests are absolutely appropriate on the day. Where we are in this nation, never mind across the globe on the matter of women’s rights is really quite shameful. Don’t forget. Male privilege is the first privilege. Check out some of the names that were on the stage.
So, apparently President Donald Trump has really ticked off the big guy. Yep, Barack Obama. Apparently all this stuff about wiretapping is getting on his nerves, because it’s a pretty serious accusation to just throw out there, and then act like it doesn’t matter if you had proof or not. That’s just not how that works. According to CNN, 44 is super angry, but it’s not quite clear what he can do about it. After all, he’s out of office and now he’s getting dragged back in for something he’s not particularly fond of. I’d be mad, too.
Needless to say, America is really divided these days. There was a time when on the map between the red and the blue, there was a fair amount of purple. Which ultimately was a good thing. We weren’t at polar extremes, so on the most basic things, it felt like meeting in the middle was closer to becoming an option. Alas, those days are over. Purple America has basically disappeared, and counties are staunchly in the Democrat or Republican side. We’re moving backward at this point, which is pretty scary.
Brandon Marshall has landed another job. He’ll be heading to the New York Giants, which, I’d say, is a good fit. Solid team, he doesn’t have to be the man and they’re always in it. It’s wild that a guy of his skill level in the NFL will now have played for four different teams before the Giants, but that’s how it happens. It also means he doesn’t have to move, as a result of going from one New York team to another. For March NFL news, this is a pretty big deal, particularly if you care about one of the teams in the NFC East.
Coffee Break: I almost completely forgot a couple of programming notes. I did a podcast with the guys over at True Hoop talking about the movie Get Out. It was really fun. ALSO, Domonique Foxworth and I did another episode of Locker Room Lawyer, so you can check that out, as well!
Snack Time: The man who founded Waffle House, Joseph Rogers, has passed away. Let’s all take a moment of silence for the best 24-hour restaurant America has ever seen.
Dessert: Do you say “Cash me ousside” because you think you’re cool and lit? Well, read this.
Locker Room Lawyer, Episode 13: Arian Foster vs. a wolf
Domonique Foxworth and Clinton Yates discuss whether the former NFL running back could actually beat a wolf in a fight
7:42 AMIn this week’s edition of Locker Room Lawyer, Clinton Yates and Domonique Foxworth take the case of former NFL running back Arian Foster to The Undefeated courtroom.
Foster recently took to Twitter to explain that he wanted to go camping, but wouldn’t because he’s afraid of “wildlife.” There is, however, one animal Foster doesn’t seem to be scared of:
Yes, that’s right, the four-time Pro Bowler believes that in a one-on-one fight he could, in fact, defeat a wolf. Our Locker Room Lawyer Domonique thinks so, too, citing Foster’s size advantage and ability to make quick decisions while running the football as reasons that he would prevail over a wolf.
Clinton and the International Wolf Center disagree. In their opinion, ain’t no way a man can beat an animal that possesses an instinctive ability to kill.
What do you think: Could Foster really win in a fight against a wolf?
Check out the video, and if you have any professional athlete in mind (past or present) who needs the Locker Room Lawyer’s representation, feel free to email us at email@example.com with episode ideas. Also, check out our weekly All Day Podcast, as well as Domonique and Clinton every Sunday on The Morning Roast.