LAS VEGAS — A female official officiated Friday night’s game between LaVar Ball’s Big Baller Brand in the Adidas Uprising Summer Championships and College Bound in a display of solidarity for another female official who was berated and replaced after she gave Ball a technical foul Friday morning.
The group that supplies officials, Court Club Elite, had initially pushed for an all-female crew, according to a source. Before tipoff, a source told ESPN that a “compromise” had been reached that would have two women and one man officiate the game.
But Friday’s crew only featured one woman alongside two men. It was unknown why the change was made.
Source: Adidas didn’t want refs to eject LaVar
Officials from Adidas have pressured referees at their Summer Championships from calling technical fouls on LaVar Ball, in part because of Adidas’ courtship of Lonzo Ball, a source tells ESPN’s Myron Medcalf.
Ball: Ref who gave me technical isn’t qualified
LaVar Ball threatened to pull his Big Baller Brand AAU team off the court on Friday morning after receiving a technical foul, eventually leading to a female referee being replaced midgame.
Shaq attack: Disses LaVar Ball in new rap song
The war of words between Shaquille O’Neal and LaVar Ball escalated Friday after O’Neal released a new diss track mocking Ball on TMZ.com on Friday.
A female official was removed from Friday morning’s game after LaVar threatened to pull his team from the court if she were allowed to stay.
“She’s gotta go,” he repeated before she was replaced.
The official, who was visibly shaken after her removal, was replaced by a male official.
After the game, LaVar criticized the woman, a Division I women’s basketball official, and said she wasn’t fit to officiate and claimed she wasn’t in shape. He also said she should “stay in your lane.”
Court Club Elite is owned and operated by ex-NBA ref Ed Rush.
On Friday, ESPN reported that Adidas officials had insinuated that LaVar should not be given technical fouls because of his drawing power and value to the tournament.
He drew a technical foul in Wednesday’s loss to Zion Williamson’s SC Supreme squad. He did not get a technical Thursday when, per a source, he used profanity toward officials throughout the game.
On Friday morning, the female official overseeing Big Baller Brand’s game was replaced after she gave LaVar his second technical in three days.