Ball Don't Lie

What does ball don't lie mean?

You get what you deserve

Ball don't lie is a popular saying in sports when a wrong is corrected, and a player or team gets what they deserve. Often, people use it when a bad call that unfairly favors one player or team is followed by a play that re-balances competitive fairness.

For example, a basketball referee may unfairly award a shooter three free throw shots, but the shooter misses all three free throws. Or a football referee may miss a pass interference call on the defense on a 4th and 5, causing the offense to turn the ball over, but the opposing team fumbles the ball back on the very next play, giving back possession.

Players, fans, and analysts may all use the phrase during game broadcasts, on social media, or in person. For example, fans may share a highlight of a turnover after a bad missed call and caption it, "ball don't lie, baby!"

Origin of ball don't lie

NBA player Rasheed Wallace is credited with popularizing the "ball don't lie" phrase (he says he learned it from the "streets") in the NBA in the 2000s. It has since expanded to other sports as another way to describe karma-like events.


I can't believe he threw that interception right after they turned them over
Ball don't lie. That turnover wasn't even a fumble
Post about a ball don't lie moment
Post about a ball don't lie moment

Related Slang


Updated October 24, 2023

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