Myron Medcalf, ESPN Staff Writer 93d

LaVar Ball surprises struggling handyman with new truck

LaVar Ball does have a soft side, it seems.

On Monday, Ball lured his longtime handyman to a local car dealer in California, where he surprised him and his family with a 2017 Toyota Tundra.

Ball said he's known the man for nearly 15 years. The man had trouble going back and forth to his job due to transmission problems with his vehicle. But that is his former job now.

Ball said he also gave the man a new job as a property manager for Big Baller Brand.

"It's just something I did for him," Ball told ESPN.com. "He's been working a long time trying to make ends meet. That car ain't gonna get him from place to place. Now he has a car that can get him from Point A to Point B."

In the video, the man begins to tear up when he and his family see the truck.

"They all hopped into the front seat," Ball said. "I was like, 'There's a back seat too!'"

Michael Henry, the salesman at the CarMax dealership where Ball purchased the vehicle, attached the video to a post about the moment.

"Lavar Ball gets a lot of negative press for the brash and sometimes downright crazy things he says and does," Henry wrote. "I had the pleasure of selling him a truck that he bought for his long time handyman Felipe [whose] truck went out of commission days before. He and his family were asked to come to Carmax to come see his wife Tina. To their surprise, a 2017 Toyota Tundra was waiting for them and the moment was priceless. You will definitely see Lavar Ball in a different light after watching this video.”

The Big Baller Brand creator and father of hoops stars Lonzo Ball, a rookie with the Los Angeles Lakers, LiAngelo Ball, a freshman at UCLA, and LaMelo Ball, a high school phenom, has endured a controversial year that has included accusations of sexism following comments he made toward Fox Sports 1's Kristine Leahy and his successful petition to have an "out of shape" female official removed from one of his games during a July grassroots tournament.

Ball said he didn't buy the truck for attention or to convince his haters he has a generous side. He said he was just helping out "family."

"It's just who I am," said Ball, who launched a family reality show, "Ball in the Family," on Facebook Watch last month. "He didn't know I was going to do it for him."

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