In light of recent events, I feel that I must clear my name as a guy that loves sports and has opinions. This week, the basketball business world learned that due to Lavar’s hubris, Lonzo will not be getting a shoe deal from any of the major American sports brands. Basically, Lavar does not want his sons to have an exclusive shoe deal, but instead wants a partnership with a major brand and be able to keep his own Big Baller Brand. In case you are not familiar with the situation, that is stupid. Lavar Ball is stupid. Really (and this is the only time I will ever say this in my life), Stephen A. Smith was very, very right when he said, “You have a problem” to Ball, a man who quite obviously has a problem.

I have a lot of opinions, and when you release opinions at the volume I do, some of them will be wrong. Think of the infamous Johnstown Flood. That big piece of American engineering held roughly a fuckload of water. Imagine all of that water as all of the opinions I have ever made in my life. Next, think of what happened to the poor people of Johnstown. While the d-bag rich dudes sat at the top of the dam in their cushy cabins, the damn suffered a crack. Eventually, it blew up and flooded Johnstown, a city outside of Pittsburgh, and killed many residents. That crack is simply a metaphor for one bad opinion. With a lack of ability to simply accept the fact I am wrong and fix the take, all of my stupid opinions would flood into the world and make me look like an idiot. That is something I don’t want, and something I have the integrity to resolve (opposite: see Skip Bayless).

This is where I clear my name. I am previously on record as saying, “Lavar Ball isn’t as crazy as you think.” Well, let me respectfully rescind that opinion and fill the crack in the dam. At the time, I 100% believed every word I wrote. I lived for Lavar conversations so I could be that one asshole in the room that would say, “No, actually, everything all of you are saying about Lavar is shortsighted. He is much brighter than you can possibly imagine.” It was one of my favorite hot takes. But, I know when to say enough is enough. After hearing the most recent news, this was a text I sent to my friends as an apology, and an apology I would also like to extend to you, my readers:

After the days events. I rescind all previous statements about lavar ball. He is now impeding on Lonzos progress and now I no longer support him in any way.”

At the heart of my argument, I believed Lavar Ball was a good father with his sons’ best interests in mind. I believed that Lavar understood his influence and business, but now I know I was wrong. This is one of the most egregious parenting errors in public. I can’t even really think of a similar scenario. Maybe when Justin Bieber’s dad was basically a vegetable during Bieber’s growing pains. But, that didn’t cost his son any money, or anything to do with his career. This error has the possibility of doing both. We already know that he lost his son A LOT of money. For reference, Ben Simmons, last year’s number one pick, made $20 million on his rookie shoe deal. So we know for sure that Lonzo has lost money.

In terms of his career, it is hard to believe that Lonzo will come to anything in today’s NBA on a shoe deal with… who? FILA? He isn’t Grant Hill, and it isn’t the ’90s. Big Baller Brand? Ask yourself now if you will support that company. I can’t say that I would anymore. I want to for Lonzo, I love the kid. But, I can not feed into Lavar’s delusion. It’s like when those people that absolutely blow at singing try out for American Idol. Imagine if Simon Cowell never told them they sucked. Imagine if somehow they got a golden ticket. Who knows where they would be now, but that is Lavar Ball. The American people have to be Simon Cowell.

Without the shoe deals, stars simply can not be born. If you want, come back to me. Do your best to name me a star in the NBA now (or ever really) that didn’t have a big shoe deal. Trust me, you’ll be hard-pressed to do so. So of course the money is an issue. But, the issue is deeper. Will this affect Lonzo’s draft stock? Still probably no, but it absolutely will affect his standing in the Association. That is a problem. That is a serious problem. And it has nothing to do with him. Lonzo is a humble, hard-working, talented, elite prospect. He deserves a $20 million deal with Adidas (that’s where I personally wanted him to sign). Now, he will not get that because of his father. I love my dad, but no way would I let him do that to me.