LeBron praises Lonzo as Ball family reportedly considers folding the brand

Cassandra Negley

The Ball family splashed back into the headlines over the weekend when Los Angeles Lakers star Lonzo Ball announced he was cutting ties with Alan Foster, a co-founder of the family’s Big Baller Brand.

While LeBron James praised the move of his teammate, a follow-up report indicates the family considered taking a drastic action.

Lonzo cuts ties with Foster

ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported Friday that Lonzo Ball cut ties with Foster after the financial adviser couldn’t account for $1.5 million while completing the brand’s taxes. Foster would not show any documentation for the expenses, per the report.

“[Foster] used his access to my business and personal finances to enrich himself,” Ball told ESPN. “As a result, I have decided to sever all ties with Alan, effective immediately."

Foster entered the Ball family circle nine years ago when his son and Lonzo were seventh-graders. The family patriarch, LaVar Ball, credits Foster with the idea to make a signature shoe. He’s since worked as the business manager for BBB and other family businesses.

The move to sever ties was made by Lonzo, but not by his father, LaVar, a fact the son made sure to tell ESPN.

Lonzo Ball is the majority owner of Big Baller Brand at 51 percent. Foster, LaVar Ball and Tina Ball, Lonzo’s mother, each own 16.3 percent, per ESPN.

Shelburne reported via a tweet Monday that the family considered folding the company entirely.

Lonzo already indicated he was leaving

In an Instagram post Sunday, Ball fueled speculation that he’s leaving the Big Baller Brand entirely and going to Nike. The caption reads “Moving on to bigger and better #MyOwnMan.” The photo has a Nike slogan in the font used by the company.

The Lakers will reportedly be happy with the move, if it happens. Per the initial ESPN report, the Lakers inquired with Ball if the signature BBB shoes contributed to his ankle issues. He’s had three ankle injuries and the latest in January ended his season.

Ball’s manager, Darren Moore, posted a video in which he throws a pair of the Big Baller Brand shoes down a garbage chute.

It’s no longer on his story, but accounts have tagged him in it on Instagram.

LeBron praises teammate

James is arguably Nike’s biggest face; the two have a lifetime deal. He told the Los Angeles Times if Ball decided to join Nike “obviously we would welcome him.”

The bigger deal for LeBron is that Ball is taking care of his own business and doing what he feels is right for him.

From the Los Angeles Times (h/t For The Win):

“I love the fact that he’s taking control of his [stuff],” James said. “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.”

James added that Ball “plays well when he has on Nikes.”

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