You probably remember how obnoxious LaVar Ball was, right? Father of Los Angeles Lakers point guard, Lonzo Ball, was the epitome of a helicopter parent when he was selected as the number 2 pick in the 2017 draft.
LaVar used his newfound national celebrity in the most egomaniacal way, saying outrageous things like how he could beat Michael Jordan one-on-one, and used his hyperbole to steamroll it into his own business called “Big Baller Brand.”
BBB’s first client was Lonzo Ball and now the tides have turned because the Lakers star is now suing his father’s company for this crazy reason.
Lonzo Ball was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers as the 2nd pick in the 2017 draft and it has turned out to be an unmitigated disaster. The main reason is because Jayson Tatum, De’ Aaron Fox and Donovan Mitchell were all selected behind him and they’ve all proven to be all-stars or near-all-star level caliber players.
The Lakers were wrong at a time when they couldn’t afford to be. Lonzo’s not bad by any stretch of the imagination. He’s okay. Lonzo is serviceable, but he’s not those aforementioned other three.
Lonzo’s father, Lavar Ball, used his celebrity to create an overpriced hideous apparel sports brand called “Big Baller Brand.” It’s one of those things that most people rolled their eyes at, but Lonzo was their first endorsement deal.
He rolled with them for a couple years but that all came to a screeching halt this week when Lonzo filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the company’s co-founder, Alan Foster, claiming a “fraudulent scheme” to “embezzle” money from the company.
It also said Foster, “conspired to embezzle million of dollars and then divert those funds for his personal use, including to acquire assets in Ethiopia.”
ESPN reported that this was due to the fact that Lonzo discovered in October of last year that he was missing $1.5 million from his personal and business accounts.
LaVar wrote a statement to ESPN that read, “I’ve always believed in the best in people. Regretfully, I put my complete trust in Alan Foster to manage my son’s business affairs. At the end of the day, family comes first, and I support Zo wholeheartedly. Together, we will make this right.”
Foster owned 16.3-percent of the company. Lonzo owns 51-percent. LaVar owns 16.4-percent and Lonzo’s mother Tina Ball owns 16.3-percent.
Another thing is that Foster has a shaky criminal past. Actually, “shaky” is probably an understatement.
In 2002, Foster was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of mail fraud and two counts of money laundering as a result of a scheme that defrauded 70 investors of $4 million. Foster was also required to pay $3.7 million in restitution.
Sounds like a great business partner, right? The Balls didn’t do any due diligence on Foster? That’s their fault then.
In the meantime, Lonzo is trying to separate himself from the “Big Baller Brand” and his father when he posted on social media, “Moving on to bigger and better #MyOwnMan.”
Ball even covered up a tattoo of “Big Baller Brand” on his arm.
Now, do Nike, Adidas, New Balance or Under Armour want to sign him? Given that he’s only a serviceable point guard, probably not.