The Big Baller bluster is definitely gone, even before Lonzo and LaMelo definitely are.
As noted by our friends at For The Win, Big Baller Brand founder LaVar Ball addressed the crowd during Sunday’s Big Baller Brand All-American Game, assuring everyone that the brand was in a good place despite a month-long crisis during which LaVar Ball’s closest friend and advisor was found to have bilked more than $1 million from the brand, and the brand’s two most recognizable faces — Lakers guard Lonzo Ball and younger brother LaMelo Ball — both allegedly agreed to defect to Nike.
That backdrop undoubtedly gave Sunday’s first (and likely last) Big Baller Brand All-American Game a decidedly macabre feel. But what really drove home the sense of basketball sideshow was the enormously anemic crowd. Despite playing in an arena that seats just 9,000, the game drew only a tiny fraction of that, as you can see from the video below.
If the Big Baller Brand All-American Game claimed to draw 1,000 fans, even that might have been overstated. The stands were predominantly empty, and the fans who were there mostly sat on their hands.
The entire situation just underscored how fan the Big Baller Brand has fallen since it first gained nationwide attention during Lonzo Ball’s freshman season at UCLA. The insurgent brand that appeared to be reshaping how a shoe brand did business is instead on the ropes, and no one is even showing up for its wake.
All of this could be premature, of course. The world has a strange way of reversing course at times, and Lonzo and LaMelo could stay in house as part of the family business.
For now, it seems unlikely. And that notion was underscored not only by LaVar Ball’s tone, but by his audience on Sunday.