Lonzo Ball Has An Interesting Offseason

Lonzo Ball: Credit: Josh Groom – Fox Sports Australia

 

By Ryan Touhey,

According to numerous news sources, Lonzo Ball, the star freshman point guard for the UCLA Bruins, will skip the 2017 NBA Draft. Ball finished his freshman year at UCLA averaging a total of 35 minutes played, making 5.3 baskets out of a total of 9.5 attempts for a field goal percentage of .551%. He also made 2.2 three pointers out of 5.4, equivalent to a percentage of .412%.

According to Alec Nathan of Bleacher Report, Ball was expected to be a Top-5 pick if he had entered the Draft. But this move is not the first time that somebody who was ranked this high has decided to skip the Draft.

Several top picks have decided to pass on the chance of participating in the Draft for the past several years. According to Nathan, the reasons why players decide not to enter the Draft differentiate between one another. Draft Express’ Jonathan Givony though, released a statement regarding why this is.

“Agents would prefer not to have their clients go through the exhaustive medical screening the NBA puts every Combine participant through, especially now that the Combine is held before the official order of the NBA draft is set at the Lottery,” said Givony. “The physical is an incredibly important component to most team’s decision making process, and is one of the few pieces of leverage agents have.”

In addition to not participating in the 2017 Draft, Ball will not make a deal with either Nike, Under Armour or Adidas to promote his Big Baller Brand. According to ESPN.com, none of the three companies are interested in making an endorsement deal with the point guard.

ESPN stated that Ball’s father, LaVar, had been representing Lonzo during this process. Despite what news reports have released, LaVar stated that the him and his son weren’t looking for an endorsement deal with any of the companies. “We’re looking for co-branding, a true partner,” LaVar told ESPN. “But they’re not ready for that because they’re not used to that model.”

He then used an example of how Taxis were not ready for the arrival of the Uber to help back up his statement. According to ESPN, the relationship between LaVar and Nike is done for good. Nike consultant George Raveling, who is at SportsBusiness Journal’s World Congress of Sports, slammed LaVar, calling him, “The worst thing to happen to basketball in the last hundred years.”

LaVar responded by saying, “Just imagine how rich Tiger [Woods], Kobe [Bryant], Serena [Williams], [Michael] Jordan and LeBron [James] would have been if they dared to do their own thing.”

ESPN stated that the Lonzo and LaVar won’t give up. The two will apparently reaching to the Chinese brand shoe companies such as Peak, Li-Ning and Anta. They’re also going to try to reach an entrepreneurial partner outside of the shoe business.

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