LeBron James Is Proud Of Lonzo Ball For ‘Taking Control’ And Would Welcome Him To Nike

Getty Image

Lonzo Ball remains out for the season for the Los Angeles Lakers, but he’s making significant moves off the court. Over the weekend it was revealed that Ball and Big Baller Brand had cut ties with Alan Foster, the company’s co-founder, after allegations arose that he may be responsible for $1.5 million missing from the Ball family.

Some interesting things came out of that story. The first is that Lonzo, not LaVar, owns the controlling stake in Big Baller Brand. That’s certainly different than what most assumed about the company, especially given who has done most of the talking about the brand over the last few years. That controlling stake was the reason why Lonzo was the one who officially cut ties with Foster over the missing money.

Another interesting revelation was found in the revised edition of that ESPN story on Monday, which is that the Lakers were concerned about Ball wearing his BBB signature shoe given his string of ankle injuries. Ball assured the Lakers that nothing’s wrong with his shoe, but it’s an interesting inquiry given the speculation that Ball may be interested in a deal with another company, namely Nike.

Over the weekend, Ball posted a cryptic Instagram message with a caption that read “moving on to bigger and better” with the hashtag #MyOwnMan. The image was of Ball in front of a number of retired jerseys hanging over the Staples Center court and the slogan “It’s only a crazy dream until you do it.”

View this post on Instagram

Moving on to bigger and better #MyOwnMan

A post shared by Lonzo Ball (@zo) on

That slogan mirrors a similar slogan Nike has used in past advertising, and “moving on” made many wonder if Ball taking control of his professional life might mean a change in sponsorship and his signature shoe. But nothing about the post was clear and no announcement was made official. And one note that many missed was that Ball’s Lakers jersey was added to the rafters in that post, which perhaps the “crazy dream” that Ball is alluding to in the post.

That certainly didn’t slow down speculation about a move, though. And that means questions for Nike behemoth and Lakers teammate LeBron James. According to the Los Angeles Times, James was asked about Lonzo’s potential move to Nike. He said he’d welcome the Big Baller to the brand if it happened, but mostly he was glad his teammate was “taking control” of his business dealings.

“Whatever the kid decides to do, whatever brand he comes with next — if it’s with Nike obviously we would welcome him,” James told The Times. “I would definitely welcome him. I love the kid regardless of what shoes he had on. But we shall see.”