Approximately 36 years ago, we went through a bunch of news cycles where LaVar Ball, then known as the father of Lonzo and the guy behind Big Baller Brand, would say stuff that got him on TV. Nothing got him as much publicity — not even the time he went onto CNN and got into a war of words with Donald Trump — than his insistence that he could beat Michael Jordan in a game of 1-on-1.
It was a whole thing, and it is hard not to laugh at the fact that it happened when remembering that the Charlotte Hornets, the team owned by Jordan, took LaVar’s youngest son, LaMelo, with the No. 3 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. And according to Tim Keown of ESPN, who attended the Ball family Draft party, the irony isn’t lost on LaVar, either.
Keown appeared on the ESPN Daily podcast on Thursday morning and gave a bit of a debrief on the whole saga, which included a wonderful anecdote about LaVar — who wore an “I Told You So” Big Baller Brand baseball cap — reacting to the pick around the 1:35 mark of the below video.
“LaVar announced, ‘TELL M.J. WE’RE COMING!’”
I called @TimKeownESPN — while he was inside the Big Baller Compound — to describe the night Michael Jordan’s Hornets took LaMelo third overall. #ESPNDaily: https://t.co/TVYn0wx8Va pic.twitter.com/qHwIW16lvj
— Pablo S. Torre (@PabloTorre) November 19, 2020
“And when the pick was announced, LaVar, who was relatively quiet for part of the night, announced, ‘Tell MJ we’re coming!'” Keown recalled. “So we may get that 1-on-1 we’ve been waiting for.”
LaMelo actually fills some holes as a dynamic playmaker for the Hornets, so it was a pretty good pick, regardless. Nonetheless, I think I speak for most people when I say I really want LaVar Ball and Michael Jordan to play basketball against one another.