It’s been a painful few months for the Ball family.
The news of Alan Foster’s alleged fraud that might have cost the Balls $1.5 million has led to an FBI investigation, a lawsuit, the family’s Big Baller Brand going dormant and the highly symbolic covering up of a tattoo.
Through it all, Lonzo Ball has appeared to move toward independence as his family business publicly struggles. The Los Angeles Lakers point guard laid out how the saga has felt to him during an appearance on teammate LeBron James’ HBO show The Shop on Saturday.
Lonzo Ball: Alan Foster was like ‘my second dad’
With Ball stopping by, it was only a matter of time before the show’s guests addressed the elephant in the room. What followed was some interesting perspective from Ball.
Lonzo really becoming his own man. 💯 pic.twitter.com/xnljzs9V2Z— Legendary Lakers (@goldlakerss) May 5, 2019
Ball opened by saying things “clicked” for him once his daughter was born, which led to a desire for more control over his own life. Cutting ties with Foster, who worked as the family’s financial manager, obviously accelerated that.
Ball was then asked if what happened with Foster hurt him, leading to a lengthy response:
I've known him since I was 12. He was like my second dad. He was way more than that, though. I bought my mom and dad a house, he had a room in there. The media sees, like, the way I feel about it was different.
That’s why I covered the BBB up on my arm. Because when I saw that, I saw him. And that s--- just made me so tight. Because when we looked at the transactions, that s--- didn't start happening until my mom got sick. Because she took care of all the money s---. So, that's what really hurt me.
That s--- hurt me. I don't even know what I would do if I see him right now. I ain't seen him. When that happened, everything just went off.
Ball’s mother Tina suffered a stroke in 2017, which left her with severe speech issues. If Foster really took that opportunity to start enriching himself with the Balls, then Lonzo would definitely have a reason to feel hurt by the former family friend.
James’ business partner Maverick Carter then asked Ball if it was hard to confront his father over what he believed Foster had done. Again, Ball paints an interesting picture:
It wasn't hard. People who see my dad in the media, that's how they see him. But me, I could tell him anything. But that's the first time I would say that I called him and he literally shut up. I would say that ... he ain't talking. He always talks. That's the first time I was like, 'No, you need to listen.'
So that was hard because that was the first time I ever told him ‘Nah, let me talk.’ He stopped, and I pulled up to the house that night, laid it out for him and we’ve been moving forward ever since.
If that’s how it went down between father and son, we might be seeing a new, Lonzo-led era of the Ball family. That might be for the best.
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