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Saturday, February 22, 2020

LaVar Ball

Big Baller Brand spokesperson insists company is ‘restructuring’

LaVar Ball Lakers

Reports of the demise of the Big Baller Brand appear to have been premature.

A brand spokesperson said Wednesday that LaVar Ball is in the process of “restructuring” the company and plans to launch a new website soon.

“The Big Baller Brand is alive and well,” Denise White, Ball’s rep, told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. “The brand has been restructuring and we are working to reveal the new website in the next few weeks. It will have a new look and new name (www.BigBallerBrandInc.com).

“LaVar Ball has put a great team of seasoned industry professionals in place to move the brand forward with exciting new products along with signature shoes and sportswear under the Ball name. Unfortunately Alan Foster continues to try and leverage the Ball Family name for his own gain. Alan Foster is a convicted felon who served seven years in jail for defrauding people out of their money. He is a thief and con man and cannot be believed or trusted.”

In other words, if you’re a Big Baller Brand enthusiast, that’s good news for you. Ball has consistently denied the brand was ending despite the fact that he ended up severing ties with co-founder Alan Foster, who was accused of defrauding the family.

It remains to be seen whether Lonzo Ball will have any involvement with the new Big Baller Brand after he distanced himself from the original venture. It also remains to be seen whether the products will be any better than they used to be.

LaVar Ball responds to Alan Foster’s embezzlement lawsuit claims

LaVar Ball Lakers

LaVar Ball issued a statement on Thursday in response to the lawsuit filed by his former business partner, Alan Foster.

Foster filed a suit that alleges Ball embezzled $2.5 million from Big Baller Brand to finance his personal life of luxury. Foster was sued in April by Lonzo Ball for allegedly stealing $1.5 million from the New Orleans Pelicans guard. Foster said in his suit that he invested money into Big Baller Brand and personally covered many of Lonzo’s college expenses via a loan.

Here is LaVar’s response, via TMZ Sports.

“Alan Foster’s claims are not only unfounded and devoid of any truth, but are an egregious attempt to turn the attention away from the millions of dollars that he embezzled from the Ball Family and the Ball Family Business. Not only will LaVar Ball and his family continue to vigorously pursue their civil action against Foster seeking civil damages, but will also continue to cooperate with law enforcement in order to seek justice for his egregious actions.”

“The Ball family are all united in relentlessly pursuing Foster for his grave injustices, and will always fight to protect the respected Ball family name, despite Foster’s futile attempt to defile it.”

Foster’s filing was a countersuit to Lonzo’s lawsuit, which is why the statement references pursuing civil action seeking damages against Foster. A report in April said Foster was being investigated by the FBI.

Foster has previously served prison time for running a fraudulent stock scheme.

LaVar Ball accused of embezzling $2.5 million in lawsuit filed by former partner Alan Foster

LaVar Ball Lakers

LaVar Ball can add a new lawsuit to his troubles, in addition to the downfall of his apparel company.

Ball is being sued by his former business partner, Alan Foster, who accuses the Big Baller Brand patriarch of embezzling $2.5 million from the company to finance a personal lifestyle.

The Blast reported details of the lawsuit on Wednesday night and says Ball is officially being sued on grounds of fraudulent concealment and breach of contract.

Foster, who was a minority owner of Big Baller Brand, spent time in prison for running a Ponzi scheme in the past. He was sued by Lonzo Ball in April for allegedly stealing $1.5 million from the New Orleans Pelicans guard. Foster reportedly was being investigated by the FBI. Six months later, Foster has filed a suit turning the tables on the Ball family.

According to The Blast, LaVar Ball approached Foster asking for his help in starting the business.

“In early 2016, in furtherance of LaVar’s intense desire to share in, or rise above, the glory and spotlight of his sons, LaVar approached Alan and asked for his business guidance on how to monopolize and gain fortune and fame from the names and likenesses of his three sons. In response, Alan suggested that the two men brand the “Ball” family name in order to create basketball and entertainment-related businesses. LaVar loved Alan’s idea and wanted to make sure that he was the biggest star in the family, notwithstanding the fact that he was broke, had no savings, poor credit and zero business acumen,” the suit states.

“LaVar is a liar who fraudulently utilized BBB and BSG to fund his personal lifestyle,” Foster alleges.

Foster claims he invested personal money into the company and that LaVar used some of the company funds for his lifestyle, including upgrades to the Ball home and money spent on luxury cars.

A counter argument to Foster’s suit is that a big part of Ball’s business was to attract attention and give off the appearance of extravagance and luxury. The expenditures were probably strategic as part of building the brand.

Foster claims he is owed money he invested into the company to help pay for Lonzo Ball’s expenses while the point guard was in college at UCLA.

The suit says Foster approached LaVar and told the outspoken father that the conduct he exhibited was called embezzlement.

A once-rising brand, Big Baller Brand has gone under and was recently selling items on clearance prices. Lonzo has since left the brand and signed with Nike.

Big Baller Brand selling T-shirts, hats for $5 on clearance

LaVar Ball Lakers

It doesn’t seem like all that long ago that LaVar Ball and his Big Baller Brand were being relentlessly mocked for selling $500 sneakers. The ridicule still exists, but for a much different reason now.

At one of their pop-up shops over the weekend, Big Baller Brand was selling several items on clearance. Prices ranged from $5 for T-shirts and hats to $100 for a package that includes a T-shirt, hoodie, pair of shoes and pair of socks.

When the Big Baller Brand first launched, Lonzo Ball’s signatures shoes were selling for $495. Hats and T-shirts were around $50. Many people thought the prices were absurd, but LaVar Ball insisted all of the items were selling at a furious pace and his family was making money in bundles.

Not so much, anymore. Lonzo recently distanced himself from BBB, and he had a pretty good reason for doing so. That has almost certainly had a negative impact on the brand, and you have to wonder how much longer they can stay in business with clearance prices like that.

Dez Bryant tells Molly Qerim she ‘overreacted’ to LaVar Ball comment

Dez Bryant

Dez Bryant weighed in on the LaVar Ball “First Take” controversy from last week, and he doesn’t believe Ball was wrong.

Early this week, Bryant tweeted at ESPN host Molly Qerim to tell her she “dramatically overreacted” and owes Ball an apology.

He continued to defend his stance even when people challenged him on it.

Bryant later on Twitter defended Ball but got LaVar’s quote wrong. He said Ball told Qerim “we can switch gears,” which is much different from Ball’s actual quote of, “you can switch gears with me any time.”

Other people have repeated Ball’s quote wrong when defending him. There is a world of difference between “we can switch gears” and what he actually said, and more importantly, the way he said it. There was innuendo and seduction to it. She and ESPN had reasons to be upset and call it “completely inappropriate.”

Those defending LaVar by looking at just the words he said and not the way it was said are missing half the picture. That’s like ignoring if someone winks while saying something in a sarcastic voice; you’ve completely missed the point.

The end result is ESPN saying they have no plans to use Ball as a guest moving forward.

ESPN has ‘no plans’ to use LaVar Ball as guest going forward

LaVar Ball Lakers

ESPN is done with LaVar Ball, at least for now.

In light of the latest Ball-related controversy, an ESPN spokesperson told Richard Deitsch of The Athletic that the network had “no plans” to use the Ball family patriarch as an on-air guest going forward.

The word comes after Ball made an inappropriate remark to “First Take” host Molly Qerim during an appearance on Monday that appears, at least for now, to have been the last straw with the network. Many have argued that Ball and his over-the-top proclamations bring nothing to television and are played out at this point, and remarks like this push him further past the breaking point.

Of course, things can always change. Ball gets people talking, for better or worse, so it may not be a permanent end to Ball’s publicity stunts. At least in terms of ESPN, it’s a moratorium, though.

ESPN condemns ‘completely inappropriate’ remark from LaVar Ball to Molly Qerim

LaVar Ball Lakers

LaVar Ball made an inappropriate remark to ESPN’s Molly Qerim during an appearance on “First Take” Monday morning, and the network says the patriarch of the Ball family has been made aware that the comment was not appreciated.

At one point during the interview, Qerim asked Ball if she could “switch gears” for a minute and change to another topic. Ball responded with a childish smile and told Qerim she “can switch gears with me anytime.”

Ball was immediately ripped for the remark, which was viewed as sexual in nature and immature. ESPN later issued a statement condemning the comment.

“LaVar Ball’s comment to Molly Qerim Rose was completely inappropriate and we made him aware of that,” a network spokesperson said.

Qerim, the wife of former NBA player and fellow ESPN employee Jalen Rose, later joked on the show that she is going to have to get in touch with human resources. Ball’s rep Denise White issued a statement saying LaVar did not intend for the comment to be “sexual in nature.”

“[LaVar] was asked if he wanted to switch gears, in his mind switching gears was ‘changing the subject anytime’ and he said, ‘yes, you can switch gears with me anytime,'” White said, via TMZ. “At NO time was that intended or meant to be sexual in nature.”

Ball isn’t going to get the benefit of the doubt, especially since he has made misogynistic remarks to female sports personalities in the past. He even turned one sexist comment he made into a T-shirt so he could profit from it.