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Nike, Adidas, UA pass on endorsement deals for Lonzo Ball

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Major apparel companies Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour have all passed on endorsement deals for projected top-two pick Lonzo Ball, sources told ESPN's Darren Rovell.

It's not for a lack of interest in Lonzo, but rather it's his father, LaVar Ball, who is driving a firm bargain. LaVar has insisted that any company that signs Lonzo also has to licence his Big Baller Brand. The elder Ball even showed companies a prototype of Lonzo's first potential shoe, but nobody bit on the offer.

Naturally, LaVar didn't back down one inch.

"We've said from the beginning, we aren't looking for an endorsement deal. We're looking for co-branding, a true partner. But they're not ready for that because they're not used to that model. But hey, the taxi industry wasn't ready for Uber, either," Ball told ESPN.

"Just imagine how rich Tiger (Woods), Kobe (Bryant), Serena (Williams), (Michael) Jordan, and LeBron (James) would have been if they dared to do their own thing. No one owned their own brand before they turned pro. We do and I have three sons so it's that much more valuable," Ball added.

LaVar will now try to peddle his plan through Chinese shoe brands Peak, Li-Ning, and Anta.

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