The year was 2017. Lonzo Ball was still in La La Land, La La Land was still dominating the box office, and Knicks fans were still saying, "Just wait until 2019!" It was a glorious time to be alive. An epoch of optimism and joy, typified, above all else, by the birth of the most-talked-about empire in basketball, Big Baller Brand, which announced themselves to the world with the $495 ZO2, Lonzo's first-ever (despite the "2") signature shoe. The sky wasn't the limit. The cosmos was.
Flash forward two years, and the fortunes of the Ball family—and, by extension, Big Baller Brand—have gone up in the smoke they always peddled. Lonzo got traded to New Orleans. LaVar opened his mouth one too many times. For all we know LiAngelo and LaMelo are still Shanghai'd in Lithuania and Big Baller Brand, under the weight of embezzlement and an F rating from the other BBB (the Better Business Bureau), began to crumble. This past weekend, said crumble turned into a full collapse when photos of a folding-table clearance sale at an LA volleyball tournament hitting the interweb, confirming what we all already knew:
Big Baller Brand is dead (long live Big Baller Brand).
T-shirts that used to go for $50 were now for 90% off. The hats we assume LaVar still sleeps in were going for five bones. Those multi-hundred dollar sneakers we previously mentioned? They were now bundled in a $100 blue-light special including a hoodie, t-shirt, and pair of socks. All the prices were scribbled with a fading marker on a whiteboard and cash was the only accepted form of payment. For anyone that has followed basketball over the past two years, it was simultaneously the funniest and saddest thing you've ever seen, and Twitter immediately caught on, peppering the tweet with over 4,000 likes and 1,000 retweets.
Ordinarily we'd say don't kick a man while he's down, but it's tough to say LaVar and his snake oil empire haven't earned a roundhouse or two on their plummet back to irrelvancy. So swing away, kids...and hey, maybe grab yourself a new pair of underwear while you're at it.