Lonzo Ball‘s time in the NBA has been inseparably tied to Big Baller Brand, the company started by his father, LaVar Ball. The nascent sportswear and shoe brand gave the UCLA standout his first signature shoe.
But there seems to be trouble in Big Baller land, and Lonzo is pushing out at least one of the brand’s founding members.
According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Paula Lavigne, the only Ball currently in the NBA is cutting ties with Alan Foster, who currently owns a portion of Big Baller Brand and is a friend of LaVar Ball.
Ball told ESPN that he believes that Alan Foster, a friend of Lonzo’s father for almost a decade who owns 16.3 percent of Big Baller Brand, had “used his access to my business and personal finances to enrich himself. As a result, I have decided to sever all ties with Alan, effective immediately.”
ESPN’s reporting says that Foster was influential in convincing Ball to start Big Baller Brand and make a signature shoe for Ball and his brothers, a move that made considerable waves in basketball and apparel circles. But both Lonzo and LaVar told ESPN that they feel Foster had not handled the family’s business interests correctly since Lonzo was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers and the family’s fame grew.
The report cites documents that indicate a financial advisor, Humble Lukanga of Life Line Financial Group, raised questions about Foster’s business practices, namely $1.5 million in missing funds that made the advisor unable to file taxes for the Balls.
It wasn’t until this week, the same sources said, that LaVar fully reviewed the email warnings and documents from Lukanga, as he had been traveling overseas with his younger sons in the fall. The sources described LaVar as “stunned” when the emails and documents were read to him. LaVar declined comment but issued a statement to ESPN calling the situation “devastating.”
“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,” LaVar said. “At the end of the day, family comes first, and I support Zo wholeheartedly. Together, we will make this right.”