The most famous player in the 2020 NBA Draft is LaMelo Ball, partly due to his basketball ability, but mostly due to the crazy acts of his father, Lavar.
Lavar’s public impact on LaMelo is complex. Lavar’s personality has turned LaMelo into a basketball pioneer, a team owner, and one of the most marketable athletes of the last 20 years.
However, Lavar also turned LaMelo’s young life into what might seem frenetic to a normal person by spouting off outlandish statements at will.
One of those statements involves a potential boss for his son. In 2017, Lavar, a former college basketball player who only averaged two points per game during his career, said he could beat Michael Jordan, arguably the best basketball player in history (no, we’re not having another debate about it right now) in a one-on-one matchup.
Lavar doubled down on the claim in 2018, challenging Jordan again during a trip to Chicago he made with his company, Big Baller Brand.
“Back in my heyday, I would kill Michael Jordan one-on-one.” Ball told USA Today Sports. “I would just back (Jordan) in and lift him off the ground and call a foul every time he fouls me when I do a jump hook to the right or the left. He cannot stop me one-on-one. He better make every shot ’cause he can’t go around me. He’s not fast enough.”
Jordan would later respond to Ball in the most Jordanesque way.
“You got to understand the source. I think he played college, maybe? He averaged 2.2 points a game. Really? It doesn’t deserve a response, but I’mma give it to you because you asked the question. I don’t think he could beat me if I was one-legged.”
Now it’s reported that Jordan, the owner of the Hornets, has given the organization the OK to select LaMelo if the guard is still there at the third pick in Wednesday nights’ draft.
It’s a high possibility that LaMelo could wind up in Charlotte to start his career.
That got us thinking about what a potential Lavar vs Jordan matchup would look like play by play.
Game to 10, all scores count as 1, make it/take it.
Lavar gets the ball first
Lavar starts at the top of the key and takes two right-hand power dribbles looking directly at Spalding as he pats the rock like a Kindergartener during PE class. Jordan then steals the ball and gives Lavar a hesitation dribble and scores a right-handed layup.
Jordan gets the ball on offense at the top of the key; he checks the ball with Lavar who has his right shoelaces untied and extra baby oil on his bald scalp as he tries to defend Jordan wearing a t-shirt with the sleeves torn off and Big Baller Brand shoes that look like they came out of And1’s factory. Jordan gives Lavar two back-down dribbles and connects on a fadeaway over the left shoulder.
Jordan checks the ball with Lavar and then proceeds to bounce the ball off Lavar’s forehead back into his own hands as Lavar looks up to the heavens wondering what happened. Jordan then goes past him and scores another layup.
Jordan checks the ball with Lavar. The six-time champ hits him with a left foot jab step and Lavar trips over as right shoelaces and does the Stanky leg to try to catch his balance before falling to the ground without even seeing a dribble move. Jordan scores another layup as he shakes his head at Ball in disgust.
Jordan checks the ball with Lavar. Lavar stays with Jordan through the first three dribbles. Jordan decides to shoot a pull-up jumper that he misses short. Lavar gets the rebound and brings it back out. Lavar then tries to drive to the basket on Jordan, but Jordan stays with him. As Lavar tries to pump fake Jordan he exposes the ball and the former MVP stuffs the ball back into Lavar’s face and the Big Baller Brand owner collapses. Lavar tries to call for a foul but everyone in the gym knows it was all ball.
Jordan gets the ball back and hits a pull-up jumper.
Jordan checks the ball with Lavar. He throws it through Lavar’s legs and gets another layup as Lavar tries to meet him at the backboard to block but can only get three inches off the ground.
Jordan checks the ball with Lavar. Jordan takes three dribbles and cashes another turnaround jumper.
Jordan checks the ball with Lavar. Jordan plays around with a series of dribble moves and misses a step-back jumper. Lavar gets the rebound and clears it.
Lavar tries to back down Jordan like a beer-bellied YMCA All-Star. Of course, it doesn’t work. Lavar tries to shoot a turnaround jumper to avoid getting blocked and proceeds to shoot it completely over the goal.
Jordan Ball. The Hall of Famer decides to play bully ball with Lavar and scores on an up-and-under in the paint.
Jordan checks the ball with Lavar. He hits Lavar with a back to back crossover and then spins on him and finishes with a finger roll.
Jordan checks the ball with Lavar for game point. Jordan gives Lavar two between-the-leg dribbles, a step-back dribble, and a hesitation dribble. Lavar tries his best to stay with Jordan but he catches a cramp in his left thigh and crumbles to the ground on the step back dribble as Jordan gives the small crowd a baby rim grazer dunk and wins the game.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is how a washed-up former athlete would look going against one of the game’s best players.