LaVar Ball is 'worst thing to happen to basketball in last 100 years,' ex-coach says

LaVar Ball is of the belief that his three sons, Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo, are worth $1 billion. More than that, actually. He thinks he can squeeze $1 billion out of a shoe deal alone for his trio of talented hoops stars eventually.

But that type of money might not come from Nike.

In a recent interview, Nike co-founder Phil Knight insisted the shoe company is interested in Lonzo, a projected top-five pick in the upcoming draft, but not for that asking price.

"If he can get it, get it," Knight said of Ball's $1 billion asking price . "It's a little steep. ... He's an awfully great player. Yeah, we have an interest."

Another Nike executive, George Raveling, had stronger words about the elder Ball on Wednesday. While it's not particularly related to business, the comment itself is rather interesting, with Raveling calling Ball, "The worst thing to happen to basketball in the last hundred years," according to SportsBusiness Journal.

Raveling, who was honored at a World Congress of Sports event in Dana Point, California, on Wednesday, isn't just an executive for a big name brand. He played basketball at Villanova from 1957-1960, where he later got his first job as an assistant coach.

Raveling went on to become a head coach at the collegiate level for decades. He began his head coaching career at Washington State, where he led them to two NCAA Tournament appearances. He also made a stop at Iowa from 1983-86 before returning to the Pac-10 to coach at Southern California from 1986-94.

Raveling held a 335-293 career record coaching, and led all three teams to NCAA Tournament berths.

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