Big Baller Brand!!!!!
Big Baller Brand apparently has bigger aims than basketball shoes. ESPN reported Wednesday that LaVar Ball — the braggadocious father of Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball — wants to create a league called the Junior Basketball Association for high school basketball players who don't want to go to college.
In 2005, the NBA banned the drafting of high school players, leading to the "one-and-done" phenomena in which top recruits dutifully attend college for a single year before turning pro. LaVar Ball said that players with NBA dreams should not be forced into college — especially if they can make money professionally instead.
"This is giving guys a chance to get a jumpstart on their career, to be seen by pro scouts, and we're going to pay them because someone has to pay these kids," Ball told ESPN. In a serendipitous coincidence, Ball earlier this year pulled his second son LiAngelo out of UCLA after the freshman guard was arrested in China for shoplifting.
The JBA "will cater to top-ranked high school basketball prospects in America," per a statement Ball provided to SLAM magazine, and will play its games according to NBA regulations. Most notable about Ball's plan, however, is the JBA's pay rate: The league would pay its players on a scale correlating with their national rank as high school seniors. The lowest-ranked player in the JBA would have a monthly income of $3,000, while the top-ranked player would make $10,000 a month.
All JBA players would additionally be outfitted with Big Baller Brand apparel. "They'll be wearing our uniform, our shoes, our T-shirts and our hoodies," Ball told ESPN. Read more about Ball's league-building ambitions here.