LaVar Ball forces Adidas to replace ref mid-game, then gets ejected, AAU game called off
What overbearing basketball dad LaVar Ball wants is apparently what overbearing basketball dad LaVar Ball gets, or so it seems at the Adidas Summer Championships in Las Vegas. On Friday, while his 15-year-old son LaMelo was playing in the AAU tournament, Ball drew a technical, which made him angry.
“We need to get someone else in here,” he said, referring to a female official, according to ESPN’s Jeff Borzello, who attended the game. When tournament organizers didn’t immediately heed his call, Ball then reportedly threatened to pull his team from the game. Organizers had reason to believe he’d do it: The 48-year-old creator of Big Baller Brand pulled his players off the floor Sunday after drawing a technical for shouting obscenities, which led to a forfeit, according to Deadspin.
The Adidas organizers eventually decided to replace the referee, telling Borzello “there was a history” between Ball and that particular referee, who also refereed a game LaMelo played in on Wednesday. “Adidas said it was their decision to replace the referee,” Borzello reported, adding the female official declined to comment.
Even with a new referee brought in, however, the game did not go the Big Baller Brand team’s way, largely thanks to Papa Ball, who earned another technical and was ejected.
According to spectator reports, however, Ball refused to leave, so the new referee decided to just call the game when the BBB team was losing, 53-43. The winners were Team BBC, which was led by standout point guard Immanuel Quickley, who scored 23 points. LaMelo Ball, who is also considered one of the best high school players in the country, scored 15.
After the truncated game, LaVar Ball — of course — had some things to say. “The way you get your name known if you’re a referee? Guess what? Check up LaVar,” he said (via ESPN). “That’s how them rookie coaches are. They try to go through my kids to get at me.” Ball continued, saying that giving him technicals won’t curb his behavior. “They think, ‘We got LaVar controlled,’ ” he said. “No! I got y’all controlled!”National sports news, in your inbox daily.
Ball, who’s been accused of misogynistic behavior before, also specifically called out the female referee, “a woman,” he said snidely, indicating she just must have had something to prove. “I know what she’s trying to do,” he said. “She’s trying to say, ‘Oh, I gave him a check, I’m strong!’ ” “If you’re gonna be qualified, you better be in shape and you better know the game,” he added, before slipping in his eye-rolling slogan. “She needs to stay in her lane. Coach the little kids first then come up ’cause she ain’t good enough.”
It’s unclear how many people tuned in to watch Friday’s game, which streamed online, but the Big Baller Brand team has proven a big draw. Wednesday’s game, which pitted LaMelo against another high school standout Zion Williamson drew more than 800,000 sets of eyeballs to the live stream, according to SB Nation. The BBB team lost that game as well, 104-92.