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NBA (National Basketball Association)

LaVar Ball brings plenty of attention but also business savvy as Lonzo gets a taste of Big Baller Brand bedlam

Los Angeles Lakers star Lonzo is getting used to life in the limelight with his eccentric father

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 December, 2017, 12:34pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 December, 2017, 2:50pm

Crowds of people swarmed Lonzo Ball and his family wherever they went, the first time Ball had experienced that kind of thing.

That happened in June when Ball visited New York City for the first time. He was there to attend the NBA draft.

His latest visit isn’t about him in the way that one was, but it has drawn the same type of excitement and attention.

On Sunday, with the Los Angeles Lakers off for the day, a crowd of thousands lined up outdoors in Manhattan to visit a pop-up shop for his family’s Big Baller Brand – to meet Lonzo, his brothers and their father, and to buy their merchandise.

“I got out of the car and I was like, wow, it’s cold out here, I wouldn’t stand out here,” Ball said. “They definitely did it. Everybody was calling my dad a legend. That was probably the funniest. Just yelling out the brand, saying LaVar’s my hero.

“It was just the idea that started in the house in Chino Hills, the fact that it’s reached all the way out here and people are going crazy about, I didn’t see it. But I assume my dad did.”

Ball has been hearing the phrase “Big Baller” his entire life. That’s what everyone called his dad. Tacking on “Brand” to the name didn’t happen until a couple of years ago.

The family started creating clothing and other merchandise while Lonzo was at UCLA.

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And while his trip to New York marked the first time Ball saw how crazy the attention around him could get, it wasn’t until a family trip to Hawaii last summer that he saw the reach of the family’s brand.

“When we took that trip out there and everybody knew us and had the gear on and stuff, that’s kind of when my eyes finally opened,” Ball said.

“Every time we got off the plane, people were taking pictures in the terminal and everything, they had the gear on, every time we went out to go shoot some, everybody rocking it and stuff.

“It was a lot of Lakers fans out there as well.”

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Because of that experience, Ball said he looked forward to seeing what kind of crowd would gather for the pop-up in New York.

“People are very strong and passionate out here,” he said.