See you in court, LaVar. Well, on the court, anyway. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LaVar Ball is one of the greatest basketball players on the planet. Just ask him!
On Sunday, the man who has repeatedly boasted of how he could easily defeat Michael Jordan in a game of one-one-one will square off in a different sort of hoops contest. Ball has accepted Ice Cube’s challenge to a four-point shot duel, with a lucrative order of Big Baller Brand shoes on the line.
Four-pointers are a feature of Cube’s Big3 League and can be attempted from three circles placed 30 feet from the basket. The actor/rapper made his original challenge to Ball in May, and with the Big3 arriving Sunday at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Cube recently reminded the outspoken father of Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball of their agreement.
On Friday, Ball posted his own video, telling Cube, “I ain’t scared of you, man, you know I hit them shots with my eyes closed.” He filmed it outside of beverage shop, unlike his previous video accepting Cube’s challenge, in which Ball was on a court and took a shot that went out of view but sounded like it clanged off the rim.
On Thursday, a shot was taken at Ball — and swished — by comedian Kenan Thompson, who parodied the boastful patriarch during a summer edition of “Weekend Update,” the regular “Saturday Night Live” segment. Thompson’s version of Ball claimed that he was eight feet tall, could jump 20 feet high and that Lonzo would win “NBA MVP, Finals MVP — he’s going to win an ESPY, a Grammy, a Purple Heart, and he’s going to get best truck in his class by J.D. Power and Associates.”
Thompson was obviously making fun of Ball, but the latter has more than made it clear that no publicity is bad publicity for him. If anything, no less a celebrity than Ice Cube appears to be trying to piggyback a bit off Ball’s notoriety to bring more attention to his three-on-three basketball league, which is in its first season.
The prediction here is that Ball, having brought at least one of Lonzo’s younger brothers (both standout players in their own rights) to Staples Center, will try to have his kid compete in the shooting challenge. After all, his logic in saying that he could beat Jordan was that he would use his superior bulk to bully the six-time NBA champion near the basket, and that tactic won’t work in a long-range shooting contest.
Okay, the tactic most assuredly wouldn’t work against Jordan either, but common sense has never gotten in the way of an eye-opening (if not eye-rolling) pronouncement from Ball. Thanks to Cube, we may get to see a man who’s been all talk so far be forced to do some actual big balling in front of thousands of people, quite possibly providing some more fodder for “SNL” in the process.
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