LAS VEGAS — LaVar Ball threatened to pull his Big Baller Brand AAU team off the court at Adidas Summer Championships on Friday morning after receiving a technical foul, eventually leading to the female referee being replaced mid-game.
“She’s got a vendetta,” Ball told ESPN after the game. “I get that she’s trying to break into the refereeing thing. But just giving techs and calling fouls, that’s no way to do it. I know what she’s trying to say, ‘Oh I gave LaVar a tech, I’m strong.’ That ain’t got nothing to do with it. Just call the game. If you’re going to be qualified, you better be in shape and you better know the game. And she’s bad on both of them.
“She’s not in shape, she’s not calling the game right. And she don’t understand. And now she’s trying to make a name for herself, so she’s walking around like, ‘You know I’m the only woman in here.’ Yeah we get it. I don’t care if you’re a woman, or a man or whatever, just be good at what you do. She needs to stay in her lane because she ain’t ready for this. [Ref] the little kids first and then come up. Because she ain’t did enough. She ain’t got enough on her resume, I could tell.”
The referee, whose name was not released by tournament organizers, declined comment on what happened.
The game eventually ended early after Ball received his second technical foul from the replacement referee and was ejected. Tournament organizers decided to end the game as opposed to playing the final minutes. Team BBC defeated Ball’s BBB 53-43.
Ball was given a technical foul in the first half of the game. He pointed to the referee and yelled, “We need to get someone else in here.”
Minutes later, Ball looked at his team and said “Let’s go.” The players began to pick up their bags and walk off the court.
After a long delay in which coaches from the two teams, along with representatives from Adidas and the referees, met on the court, the game resumed — with a different official.
Adidas, which runs the event, said it was their decision to replace the referee, who also officiated the Big Ballers’ game on Wednesday where Ball received his first technical foul of the week.
“There was some miscommunication,” said Chris Rivers, Adidas director of global basketball sports marketing.
Former NBA referee Ed Rush, who runs Court Club Elite, the company that supplies the officials for the tournament, said it wasn’t his company’s decision to remove the referee.
Regarding Ball’s comment to ESPN about the referee having a vendetta, Rush said: “How can you have a history and she [works women’s basketball] … She just arrived here two days ago.”