Lonzo Ball appears to have made some serious changes in both his professional and personal life over the past few weeks, and the latest will be finding new representation.
Ball told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne late Thursday night that he and his agent, Harrison Gaines, have mutually agreed to part ways. Gaines had been Ball’s agent since the 21-year-old left UCLA following his freshman season, and Ball had nothing but good things to say about him.
“Harrison Gaines has been a trusted advisor and close friend for many years,” Ball said. “He guided my NBA career with integrity and always had my best interests at heart. Harrison has always had my back and although we will no longer be working together after mutually deciding to part ways; our relationship will always be bigger than basketball.”
Gaines thanked Ball, who was his first client, and said he “has been nothing short of phenomenal” while the two worked together.
Ball recently filed a lawsuit against a Big Baller Brand co-founder who he says stole a large sum of money from him, but he says Gaines supported him through that and the situation has nothing to do with him and the agent parting ways. Ball has hinted on social media that he is going to leave the Big Baller Brand for a new company, so perhaps he is just starting fresh in as many ways as possible.
Lonzo Ball is taking legal action against a Big Baller Brand co-founder.
Ball filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles on Tuesday in which he alleges Big Baller Brand co-founder Alan Foster defrauded them and stole $1.5 million from him. The suit alleges Foster, who spent time in federal prison for running a Ponzi scheme, schemed to get close to the Ball family to take advantage of them, knowing about the basketball prowess of the three brothers.
Foster, who owns around 16 percent of the shoe/apparel company, allegedly stole $1.5 million from Lonzo. TMZ Sports says Lonzo is asking for over $2 million from Foster.
The negative news surrounding the Ball family and Big Baller Brand has been trickling out over the past 1.5 weeks. We learned in March that Ball was breaking ties with Foster after believing he stole $1.5 million from him. That piece of information was the first in many steps of Ball distancing himself from the brand. He hinted on Instagram at a move to Nike. He even covered up his Big Baller Brand tattoo.
Though the Big Baller Brand was a great idea and had a lot of momentum, their poor logistics, personnel decisions, and execution kept them from developing into the vision LaVar once held.
Lonzo Ball has seemingly been distancing himself from the Big Baller Brand in recent weeks, but his father LaVar is trying to throw cold water on all of the talk that the company is in big trouble.
Lonzo has given numerous signs that he is splitting from the brand his father co-founded, and one of the most noteworthy was when he had a tattoo artist cover up the BBB logo he previously had on his arm. That took place following a report that the company had as much as $1.5 million stolen by family friend and co-founder Alan Foster.
While LaVar says any talk of the Big Baller Brand folding is false, he also told TMZ this week that he doesn’t blame Lonzo for covering up the tattoo.
“Lonzo had to cover that Triple B up anyway. You can’t play with no band-aid when you not even hurt,” LaVar said. “It feels weird playing like that. So, you gotta cover it anyway.”
What LaVar seemed to mean by that is he doesn’t blame Lonzo for being angry after the stunt Foster pulled. He wouldn’t confirm nor deny if Lonzo is leaving the Big Baller Brand for Nike, but he said the talk of the company folding originated when he threatened to close up shop because of what Foster had done.
“We had a meeting before the story came out, man. And, everybody was in they feelings,” he said. “What I mean by that is, we’re not really thinking. ‘Cause I told them we’re shutting down everything, ’cause I don’t want him to get nothing.”
“So, I said it was shut down. And, that’s why everybody heard what I said and was going on them things.”
If a recent social media post from Lonzo is any indication, he is at least considering the possibility of leaving his family’s brand in favor of a more reputable company. But for now, that apparently does not mean the BBB is done.
Charles Barkley is not a fan of LaVar Ball and made that clear once again.
Barkley appeared as a guest on ESPN’s “Get Up” show Wednesday morning and talked about Lonzo Ball breaking ties from Big Baller Brand, the apparel company started by Lonzo’s father, LaVar.
Barkley praised Lonzo for finally breaking free from his dad’s influence and threw a couple jabs at LaVar, calling him a “big mouth jacka–.”
“He should have been his own man from the beginning,” Barkley said of Lonzo. “You can’t let your family members piggy back off your success. This thing has been a disaster from day one. It was never going to work, and I feel bad. His big mouth, jacka– dad has put his kid in an awkward situation all year. I don’t want to see anything bad happen to the kid, but I don’t like his dad at all, and this thing has been a joke from the beginning.”
There are some things I agree with Barkley on and some I disagree with him.
Yes, Lonzo should have been making his own choices from the beginning, but the Big Baller Brand concept has not been a disaster, and certainly wasn’t a bad idea. LaVar and his family achieved extreme awareness for their brand and also seemed to have pretty good sales. The problem is they just never had sufficient infrastructure in place for delivering merchandise, managing customers, and handling orders. That’s why they ended up with an F rating from the Better Business Bureau.
LaVar’s big mistake was overplaying his hand when Lonzo entered the league. They would have been better off cutting some sort of deal with a sneaker company to license the brand and logo, which would have allowed the difficult work to fall with the experts — the shoe companies — while still allowing for growth of their personal brand.
Lonzo Ball is moving on from Big Baller Brand and means business.
The Los Angeles Lakers guard had his Big Baller Brand logo tattoo covered up. His tattoo artist, Herchell Carrasco, posted a photo on Instagram showing the work he did to cover up the logo on the back of Ball’s forearm, near his elbow. The artist converted the BBB logo to dice that display the numbers 1, 2 and 3 — the numbers Lonzo and each of his brothers wear on the court.
This is the latest twist in a series of moves where Lonzo has distanced himself from Big Baller Brand. He broke ties with a Big Baller Brand co-founder after seeing $1.5 million go missing. He then posted on Instagram a hint at leaving BBB for Nike.
There is now even chatter that Big Baller Brand has considered folding. The brand was created by LaVar Ball, the outspoken father of Lonzo and his two other brothers, LiAngelo and LaMelo. Though LaVar once looked like king of the world while Lonzo starred at UCLA and the two other boys had scholarships there, things started unraveling one piece at a time. The family’s efforts to build their own brand seemed successful, but Lonzo appears to feel he is better off elsewhere.
Things seem to be unraveling for the Ball family’s business interests.
According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, the Ball family has privately considered shutting down Big Baller Brand and all other business ventures involving former partner Alan Foster.
Foster is the subject of suspicion after Lonzo Ball broke all ties with the Big Baller Brand co-founder over $1.5 million in missing money and the revelation of a criminal past. Ball has also hinted at leaving BBB in a cryptic Instagram post.
Ultimately, the consequences of LaVar Ball’s questionable business decisions in the past may be wide-ranging and may lead to the end of the brand. Lonzo, at the very least, seems eager to move on and take control of his own personal situation.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball’s recent off-court moves have the approval of teammate LeBron James.
James said he was impressed by Ball, who seems to be shifting his off-court priorities and taking control of his own career. He has also hinted at moving to Nike, which James said he’d welcome, but the important thing to him is that Ball is growing up.
“I love the fact that he’s taking control of his [stuff],” James said, via Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times. “I mean, he’s, that’s what’s really, really dope to me. Once I saw that story I just seen a kid turning into a man. ‘This is my career and I’m taking this. I done had enough with — whatever. I done had enough. Whatever. If I’m not going to be successful, I’m not going to be successful on my terms.’ I saw a lot of that. We’ll see.”
Ball has been criticized at times for the amount of influence his controversial father has held over him, but his move to cut ties with a Big Baller Brand co-founder over alleged fraud looks to be all him. James has learned plenty about controlling his own image and career over the years, so it’s no wonder he’s impressed.
Friday’s news about Lonzo Ball potentially losing $1.5 million due to the mishandling by a Big Baller Brand co-founder may have been the prelude to an even bigger announcement.
Ball hinted on Instagram Saturday that he could be leaving Big Baller Brand for Nike. The post included a photo of him in a Nike Lakers jersey, along with a Nike motto: “It’s only a crazy dream until you do it.”
The caption was equally significant. “Moving on to bigger and better #MyOwnMan” suggests he is moving on and also not afraid to leave the brand/vision created by his father.
Had Ball announced out of nowhere that he was leaving Big Baller Brand, many would have wondered why. Now people have somewhat of a better understanding after learning about Ball’s issues with one of the company co-founders.
In general, distancing himself from his outspoken father may prove helpful for his career.
Lonzo Ball has severed ties with one of the family’s close business advisers over $1.5 million in missing money.
According to Ramona Shelburne and Paula Lavigne of ESPN, Ball has severed all ties, “effective immediately,” with Alan Foster, a business manager and co-founder of Big Baller Brand, the Los Angeles Lakers guard said in a statement.
Foster has known LaVar Ball for a decade and is said to be the man who convinced the Ball family patriarch to form his own shoe brand instead of signing an established deal. The discrepancy came about last fall, when Lonzo Ball’s financial adviser was unable to account for $1.5 million.
In their reporting, ESPN discovered that Foster was convicted of money laundering in 2002 as part of a fraud scheme and spent time in prison, which the Ball family was unaware of.
This is not the first time Big Baller Brand has come in for some public scrutiny, but this is pretty damaging for Lonzo personally. It appears he’s taking aggressive steps to weed out the problem.
The Los Angeles Lakers are seemingly raising the white flag for the current season.
The Lakers are shutting Lonzo Ball down for the rest of the season, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports. The news comes as no surprise as Ball was getting a medical check on his ankle Saturday and the expectation was he would be shut down.
Not only is Ball out for the season, but the Lakers also announced that Brandon Ingram would likely miss the rest of the season. The team will also limit LeBron James’ minutes over the rest of the season. Oh yeah, and did we mention that Kyle Kuzma continues to miss time with his recent ankle injury?
The Lakers entered the season with great optimism and actually were in good shape until LeBron injured his groin on Christmas. Since then, the team has been crushed by injuries and fallen well behind in the playoff race.
The Lakers have gone 5-13 since Ball got hurt.