LaVar Ball claims he 'would kill Michael Jordan one-on-one' back in his heyday

It's official -- LaVar Ball needs a reality check.

Claiming his son, UCLA freshman point guard Lonzo Ball, is better than Steph Curry was one thing. Then, seeking a marketing agreement with Nike, Adidas or Under Armour for his boys for a minimum of $1 billion was a whole other thing. But now, saying he could've beaten Michael Jordan back in his day is borderline comedian material.

In an interview with USA Today Sports, the 49-year-old basketball dad made the claim that he could beat arguably the greatest basketball player of all time with ease. With a thought-out strategy, of course.

"Back in my heyday, I would kill Michael Jordan one-on-one,'' Ball said.

"I would just back [Jordan] in and lift him off the ground and call a foul every time he fouls me when I do a jump hook to the right or the left," Ball said. "He cannot stop me one-on-one. He better make every shot 'cause he can't go around me. He's not fast enough. And he can only make so many shots outside before I make every bucket under the rim."

It all sounds good until we come back down to earth and out of "Space Jam" and realize some simple, real facts.

Ball averaged 2.2 points and 2.3 rebounds a game in 1987-88 season at Washington State, before he transferred to a smaller school seeking more playing time. That same season, what was M.J. averaging? An NBA-leading 35.0 points for the Chicago Bulls.

Still not convinced this matchup is a bit lopsided?

Ball totaled 56 points for that entire season with the Cougars. Jordan topped 50 points four times during the regular season. And twice in the playoffs.

Hey, America loves an underdog though. The only thing is, I don't think Ball thinks he is the underdog here.

As the saying goes, we'll believe it when we see it.

LaVar Ball, 49-year-old basketball dad to his three sons, Lonzo (pictured), LiAngelo and LaMelo, has made some pretty out-there claims before. But saying he could beat Michael Jordan back in his heyday definitely ranks up there. Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports


LAVAR BALL TALKS BEATING MICHAEL JORDAN, $1 BILLION SHOE DEAL FOR SONS

LaVar Ball hasn't been shy about hyping up his children, but now he wants everyone to know just how good he was at basketball.

"Back in my heyday, I would kill Michael Jordan one-on-one," Ball said Monday, per Josh Peter of USA Today.

The father of UCLA star Lonzo Ball and Chino Hills High School players LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball believes he would have used his size at 6'6", 270 pounds to his advantage.

"I would just back (Jordan) in and lift him off the ground and call a foul every time he fouls me when I do a jump hook to the right or the left," Ball said. "He cannot stop me one-on-one. He better make every shot ’cause he can't go around me. He's not fast enough. And he can only make so many shots outside before I make every bucket under the rim."

Considering Jordan is a five-time NBA MVP, six-time NBA champion, nine-time first team all-defense and generally considered one of the best basketball players ever to live, this is quite a bit of confidence.

It also makes his previous comments about Lonzo Ball being better than Stephen Curry seem mild.

However, his bravado might lead to more than just fun talk. The father believes his sons' talents could beckon the largest shoe marketing deal in history.

"A billion dollars, it has to be there," Ball said. "That's our number, a billion, straight out of the gate. And you don't even have to give it to me all up front. Give us $100 mil over 10 years."

He apparently hasn't decided whether Nike, Adidas or Under Armour gets the deal, as long as it's a package deal and for quite a bit of money.

Until then, LaVar Ball will try to continue generating revenue through his Big Baller Brand website.


LaVar Ball wants to package 3 sons for $1 billion shoe deal

LaVar Ball has a price for his sons: $1 billion.

The father of UCLA guard Lonzo Ball and his brothers LiAngelo and LaMelo, high schoolers who also are committed to the Bruins, said he's looking for a packaged shoe deal involving his three sons that would be worth $1 billion.

"A billion dollars, it has to be there," Ball told USA Today in an article published Monday. "That's our number, a billion, straight out of the gate. And you don't even have to give it to me all up front. Give us $100 million a year."

LaVar said last month that if Lonzo didn't sign with Nike, Adidas or Under Armour when he left college for the NBA, he would sign with the Big Baller Brand.

LaVar filed for the trademark to the phrase last year and was granted the trademark last week for use on athletic apparel. He is still waiting for the trademark to the actual logo, which features three "B's" for the sons and the motto "Built For This."

It would be hard to sell the three sons as a package deal since the earliest a shoe brand could commit would be March of 2020, in order to preserve the youngest son's eligibility.

Lonzo is expected to be a top-three pick in June's NBA draft. LiAngelo will play for UCLA next season, and LaMelo has two more years of high school remaining before heading to the Bruins.

For perspective, it is believed that LeBron James' most recent contract with Nike -- a lifetime deal signed in December 2015 -- will be worth at least $1 billion. Nike pays Michael Jordan more than $100 million annually in guarantees and royalties for the Jordan brand.

After that, there's a big falloff.

Next up is Kevin Durant, who Nike agreed to pay roughly $30 million a year for 10 years in 2014.

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