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Is the Big Baller empire crumbling?

Tuesday - 09/01/2018 09:27
A DAY after being slammed as a “blowhard loudmouth” by a respected NBA coach, sport’s worst Dad has been hit where it hurts.

CALL them Big Bawlers.

The Better Business Bureau has given LaVar Ball’s Big Baller Brand a flat “F,” the lowest possible grade, a reflection of 44 negative reviews and zero positive reviews for the extravagantly priced apparel company.

The sad reviews for the company fronted by Lonzo Ball’s $495 (USD) sneakers include long delays for orders, incorrect orders being shipped and a lack of a phone number associated with the company, so customer service is more non-existent than poor.

“This company does not offer refunds,” reads one complaint. “I purchased 2 items and was told there would be a 1-2 week delay. I have been waiting 6 weeks now, and when I asked why it was taking so long, I was called a ‘small baller’. At this point I believe they have decided to steal my money.”

LaVar is the founder of the company, which was launched April 4 of last year in Chino Hills, Calif., as the eldest and most polarising member of Family Ball tried to turn his sons’ basketball skills into a money-making brand. The price tags caught everyone’s attention, and it appears those who splurged would live to regret it. In story after story, items are ordered and then either never delivered or delivered incorrectly, with wrong size shoes being a common account. Then, repeatedly, the customers can’t find someone from the company to talk to, and emails are not returned.

“Ordered a sweatshirt on NOVEMBER 11th and still haven’t received it as of Jan. 2!!!” one review reads. “Received two email responses; one said they were checking on it, one said they apologised and were sending a second sweatshirt. Nothing has been received.”

According to the Better Business Bureau, a non-profit organisation, “On November 8, 2017 BBB notified the business of our concerns and requested their voluntary co-operation in eliminating the pattern of consumer complaints. As of today, the business has not responded to our request.”

Perhaps LaVar is busy in Lithuania, where sons LiAngelo and LaMelo have gone pro.

LiAngelo and Lamelo Ball.
LiAngelo and Lamelo Ball.Source:AFP

Yet he has still found the time to suggest the Lakers should fire Lonzo’s coach. Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle went ballistic on Ball and ESPN for igniting the latest Lakers controversy when the eccentric father told the website coach Luke Walton had lost the team.

Carlisle said he was making the comments as president of the coaches’ association when he called the report “a disgrace’’ and labelled Ball a “blowhard loudmouth’’ with “ignorant’’ opinions. Carlisle added that many coaches “are upset’’ at ESPN, saying it has now “eroded trust.’’

“I view the recent ESPN article as a disgrace, quite honestly,’’ Carlisle said. “Luke Walton is a terrific young coach who’s bringing along a young team. And it’s a difficult task, and if you don’t believe it, just ask me. We’re going through that now.”

Carlisle made the point that the coaches go out of their way to help ESPN’s coverage and said the network should be more responsible. Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek, coaching against Carlisle on Sunday, chimed in that a father can’t possibly know what’s going on inside the locker room.

ESPN is an NBA partner, and they’ve been a great one,’’ Carlisle said. “But part of that partnership is that the coaches do a lot of things to help them with access, interviews. In exchange for that, they should back up the coaches. Printing an article where the father of an NBA player has an opinion that is printed as anything like legitimate erodes trust that we built with ESPN.”

Ball, who is in Lithuania with his younger sons, told, “You can see they’re not playing for Luke no more. Luke doesn’t have control of the team no more. They don’t want to play for him.’’

Lonzo Ball.
Lonzo Ball.Source:AFP

Carlisle said Walton has the support of the association. “Our coaches are upset because Luke Walton does not deserve that,’’ the Mavs coach said. “Two years ago, he took a veteran team [in Golden State] and led them to 24 wins in a row, which is an amazing accomplishment. Off of that he earned the Laker job. To have to deal with these kinds of ignorant distractions is deplorable.

A Dallas-based reporter from ESPN questioned Carlisle’s reaction, telling him it’s not the network’s job to please the coaches.

“You have my quote,’’ Carlisle retorted. “They should look at their sources and do a better job of determining whether they have any merit or any validity or are they just blowhard loudmouths? That’s what I’m saying. You got that?”

Hornacek gave his two cents on Ball’s remarks.

“The only thing I would say: Nobody is in the locker room with these guys every day,’’ Hornacek said. “So when they have comments on teams, chemistry, that kind of stuff. They don’t really know what’s going on in the overall picture. So, yeah, they probably shouldn’t be making any comments from the outside.”


 Key: LaVar Ball

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