Adidas may have had an ulterior motive when it replaced an official midway through the Big Ballers’ AAU contest on Friday.
Company officials pressured referees at their Summer Championship event to avoid calling technical fouls against coach LaVar Ball to avoid damaging their relationship with Lonzo Ball as the Lakers rookie continues to seek a potential shoe deal, a source told ESPN’s Myron Medcalf.
Adidas reportedly wanted to “put three officials on the game who will keep him in the building” whenever LaVar’s team played. The plan ultimately failed, as the Big Ballers forfeited the contest after LaVar earned a second tech.
LaVar sounded off on the official who gave him the first technical following the contest, saying “she needs to stay in her lane because she ain’t ready for this.”
The Big Ballers are expected to play later on Friday night.