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#pounditMonday, February 26, 2024

LaMelo Ball facing lawsuit from infamous ex-family friend

LaMelo Ball looking on

Dec 23, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (1) reacts against the Los Angeles Lakers in the first half at Crypto.com Arena. The Hornets defeated the Lakers 134-130. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The unwelcome music of Alan Foster is once again playing for the Ball family.

TMZ Sports reported on Thursday that Foster, the notorious former Ball family friend, is suing Charlotte Hornets star LaMelo Ball in federal court. Foster claims in the lawsuit, reportedly filed earlier this week in a California court, that he came up with the idea for LaMelo’s signature shoe, the MB1, when LaMelo was just a teenager. Foster alleges that he filed several federal trademarks for the MB1 at the time, which LaMelo then infringed on when he later signed with Puma and launched the MB1 sneaker with them.

The lawsuit also names Puma as a defendant as well as LaMelo’s parents LaVar and Tina. Foster is said to be seeking over $200 million in damages. You can read TMZ’s full report on the lawsuit here.

Foster used to be a close friend of the Ball family and was a co-founder of Big Baller Brand. He served as a face of their many business ventures and was even viewed as Ball father LaVar’s right-hand man. But Foster had a falling-out in 2019 after eldest Ball brother Lonzo alleged that Foster had defrauded the family out of $1.5 million and filed a lawsuit against Foster over the missing funds. It was later revealed that Foster had previously served seven years in prison for fraud over a money laundering scheme.

Later in 2019, Foster attempted to turn the tables on the Ball family by filing his own lawsuit against them, alleging LaVar had himself embezzled $2.5 million from Big Baller Brand in order to finance his own personal luxuries. The Ball family later restructured the company to sever all ties with Foster. That is the impetus for Lavar and Tina’s inclusion in Foster’s latest lawsuit this week as Foster claims that they tried to transfer his trademarks to the new restructured iteration of Big Baller Brand.

As for LaMelo, an NBA All-Star at just 22 years old, he has been signed to Puma since his 2020 draft year. He is averaging 19.6 points and a career-high 9.0 assists per game this season for the Hornets after getting an enormous contract extension from them over the summer.

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