Before LaVar Ball’s latest on-court meltdown where he had a female referee replaced mid-game, Adidas officials had reportedly pressured referees at their Summer Championships event in Las Vegas to avoid calling technical fouls against Ball because the shoe company is interested in signing Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, according to a report from ESPN.
Officials with Adidas had pressured referees at their Summer Championships event in Las Vegas to avoid calling technical fouls against LaVar Ball because of his drawing power and their potential courtship of Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, a source told ESPN.
The source said event officals, supplied by ex-NBA ref Ed Rush’s Court Club Elite group, were told to “put three officials on the game who will keep him in the building” whenever LaVar’s Big Baller Brand team played this week.
“Under normal circumstances, the sideline behavior, including profanity and sideline antics, would have demanded a technical foul under the category of disrespecting the game,” the source said. “However, due to strong messaging [from Adidas] to extend those guidelines in an effort to keep [Ball] in the gym, the officiating crew felt uncomfortable enforcing the technical foul rule for actions that clearly warranted [action].”
LaVar eventually pulled his team from the game after getting ejected and later went on to blast the refs which included a misogynistic comment regarding the female ref in the game.