Hart and ball were talking about their first year and p…

Hart and ball were talking about their first year and playing Summer League as rookies when Hart, who had gotten injured but was still on the bench brought up the Big Baller Z02 shoes and Ball had one hell of a story to tell. “It was literally at least four or five times a game, they flashed Zo’s shoes on the big screen, it was just what shoes he had on,” Hart said before Ball interjected. “No one knows the real story about them shoes though,” Ball said. “Those Z02s I was playing in, they was not ready. “No one knows this but DMo (Harrison Gaines) had a backpack and an extra four pairs of shoes in there and I had to change them every quarter because they would just rip.

More on Big Baller Brand

LaVar Ball is NOT folding the Big Baller Brand -- in fact, it's the opposite -- he's expanding BBB with plans to make it bigger than ever, TMZ Sports has learned. LaVar has had some big problems with BBB recently -- claiming cofounder Alan Foster stole a FORTUNE from the company and his son, Lonzo Ball.
Plenty of personal topics were discussed including meeting LeBron for the first time as well as the whole ordeal that’s transpired with Lonzo’s former business partner and mentor, Alan Foster. The topic of Ball’s relationship with Foster was discussed in reference to Lonzo’s dad LaVar Ball. Lonzo talked about bringing up the alleged money laundering with Foster to his dad: “It wasn’t hard. Because people, how they see my dad in the media is how they see him. But me, I can tell him anything. But I would say that’s the first time I called him and he literally shut up. I would say that. I looked at DMo, I had him on speaker, I’m like ‘He ain’t talking.’ He always talking. That was 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 like ‘Let me talk.’ And he stopped and I pulled up to the house that night and laid it out for him. And then we been moving forward ever since.”
Last fall, Humble Lukanga was doing Ball’s accounting when he discovered that about $1.5 million was missing from Ball’s personal and business accounts. Lukanga alerted Ball, who has since sued Alan Foster, a business partner and family friend, for more than $2 million in damages as part of a lawsuit that alleges that Foster embezzled money from Ball and Big Baller Brand, the sneaker company that Ball co-founded.
“Without Humble, I don’t know where I’d be right now,” Ball said in a telephone interview. “I’d be in a very, very bad situation.” He added: “We’ll have a two-hour meeting set up, and I’ll end up talking to him for eight hours. There’s nothing fake coming from him, which is hard to find these days.”
The FBI is investigating whether the longtime business manager of Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball and his family defrauded them of millions of dollars, according to two law enforcement officials. Until recently, Ball said he and his family had no idea that Gregory Alan Foster, who he described as “like my second dad,” had served time in federal prison for taking part in a scheme that deprived investors of $3.735 million.
Authorities say the investigation is focused on allegations included in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court this month by Lonzo Ball and Big Baller Brand. The suit alleges Foster took more than $1.5 million out of the company’s bank accounts and accepted “substantial undisclosed referral fees” from at least eight loans he arranged on behalf of the company.
Seems Lonzo Ball may have had a change of heart about the Big Baller Brand boycott -- because he's rocking his signature ZO2 slides again ... even after covering his BBB tattoo. The L.A. Lakers star wasn't talking when we spotted him at LAX on Monday -- but he made a pretty big statement with his footwear ... the famous $200 Big Baller Brand slides.
Kyle Goon: Lonzo Ball on the Alan Foster/BBB situation: "My family is always going to be close. Unfortunately we had a bad seed. Glad we found it sooner rather than later." Says he's still talking about whether he'll have business ties to BBB, but he's not focused on it right now.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball filed suit late Tuesday night against the former co-founder and manager of Big Baller Brand, Alan Foster, for more than $2 million plus interest in damages, alleging that he "conspired to embezzle millions of dollars and then divert those funds for his personal use, including to acquire assets in Ethiopia."
Nick DePaula: While players have been intrigued by the concept of ‘Ownership vs Endorsement’ since Big Baller Brand launched, we won’t see Zion Williamson go the independent route. A candid Sonny Vaccaro on the BBB premise:

http://twitter.com/NickDePaula/status/1112815040552300545
Lonzo Ball’s split from the Big Baller Brand apparently took an even more permanent step Tuesday when he had his BBB tattoo on his arm permanently covered by a new tattoo by his regular tattoo artist. There’s no turning back once you do that.
B/R Kicks: Lonzo Ball’s manager @dmoore_1 just posted this. 👀 #dumpurmerch pic.twitter.com/VLjkrxSn3u

http://twitter.com/brkicks/status/1110253348299726848
Nick DePaula: This is explosive and unfortunate. Great reporting by @ramonashelburne & team. By doing the Big Baller Brand venture as a rookie, Lonzo passed on pursuing a traditional shoe deal that could have been worth $15 Million over 5 years, according to several brand sources.

https://twitter.com/ramonashelburne/status/1109229920389984256
Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball has severed ties with a co-founder of Big Baller Brand over concerns that the longtime family friend has a criminal past and also has not adequately accounted for the whereabouts of roughly $1.5 million from Ball's personal and business accounts.
Sources close to the Ball family told ESPN that Lonzo expressed his concerns about Foster to his father several times over the past few months but deferred to LaVar to manage the situation. 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."
Lonzo Ball's first signature shoe from his father's Big Baller Brand went for an absurd $495 with an even more absurd no-return, exchange or refund policy. While Lonzo spent much of the season and this preseason wearing Nike sneakers, LaVar Ball is back with another shoe for his son. This time, the asking price is more reasonable - albeit still expensive. In a video with SLAM Online, Lonzo and Big Baller Brand unveiled the ZO2.19 sneakers. The company has the shoe priced at $200, which puts it around $15 more expensive than LeBron James' Nike LeBron 16 sneakers.
Lonzo Ball's famous Big Baller Brand arm tattoo was covered up during his pre-season debut with the Lakers on Wednesday night ... and it's all because the NBA asked him to keep it under wraps. Just like J.R. Smith, the NBA reached out to Ball about his tattoo -- and reminded him about a league rule that prohibits players from "displaying any commercial logos or corporate insignia on their body or in their hair."
The Big Baller Brand’s unveiling of LaMelo Ball’s “Melo Ball 1” shoe could turn out to be a game-changer in more ways than one. As LaVar Ball explained to a staffer at the Professional Basketball Combine in Florida—where LiAngelo Ball is due to audition on Wednesday—Melo becoming the first high-school kid with his own signature basketball shoe could spark NBA players, most of whom don’t have their own kicks, to seek out their own silhouettes. “Everybody gonna start going like this, ‘You know what? I want my own damn shoe,'” the Ballfather explained. “If I have Melo come out at 16 years old in high school with a shoe, I make all the NBA players look at Nike and Adidas and be like, ‘Where’s my signature shoe?'”
Rather than bide his time for Nike, Adidas or Under Armour to come calling with a contract, the Big Baller recommended that Wall put his own reputation and riches on the line to make a sneaker. “He’s an elite player and one of the best guards,” LaVar continued. “It’s like, ‘Dude, you’re a millionaire, make your own money’…Why are you waiting for Adidas or Nike or somebody to sign you to a shoe deal? The man’s an idiot.”
LaVar Ball: "The market is going to be good here because now, we're not just Big Baller Brand around the corner. We're in Lithuania, and that means you're global. And when you get global, now you've got Europeans liking you, the states liking you, over in China liking you. We're bigger than just a Nike brand that's in Portland. You see what I'm saying? So we can be as big as we want to be by us venturing out and not having a bad name for our brand. And see, that's what it is. It's just getting bigger and bigger. It's going to be some good connections out here. I think the connections that we have here are going to happen organically. They're not going to be predetermined, and we're just going to go from there."
LaVar thinks Trump needs a pair of ZO2's for his sanity ... and we're sure LaVar would be more than happy to send him a pair.
“Check this out, I’m going to send Trump some ZO2s," Ball told TMZ. "We just got them out, man, we putting them on flight today, today is the 24th, and I said we’re shipping out ZO2s. You know what, I got to ship some to Trump so he can calm down a little bit." "Them ZO2s is coming for you Trump. Remember you put them on, you're going to ease up a little bit."
Today is the day LaVar Ball has likely had circled on his calendar for months: the day the first Big Baller Brand signature sneaker is scheduled to ship to those who were willing to pay the $495 price tag. While it remains to be seen if the brand can meet the expected ship date and get Lonzo Ball's shoe in the hands and on the feet of consumers, doing so will mark a milestone for a company that was little more than a dream just 18 months ago. For Ball & Co., the past year-plus has been an unprecedented ride in the athletic industry, all leading up to today's expected ship date of the ZO2 Prime Remix signature sneaker.
LaVar Ball told ESPN that none of the three big companies -- Nike, Adidas and Under Armour -- wanted to do a deal with him, at least under the terms he was asking for. "We've said from the beginning, we aren't looking for an endorsement deal," LaVar said. "We're looking for co-branding, a true partner." In a marketing case study that will be cited for decades to come, Lonzo Ball eschewed a traditional sneaker endorsement deal -- bypassing at least a guaranteed four-year, $10 million deal, according to industry sources. As legend goes, LaVar had a rather steep asking price in negotiations with brands.
In a totally precedented move, outspoken basketball dad LaVar Ball has said something ridiculous. The latest on his Big Baller Brand, according to Slam, comes via a live Instagram question and answer session in which he discussed making his own signature shoe. "I just don’t know when I’m coming out with it yet. ‘The LaVar-iccis!’ Holler at your boy! But I will give you a tip," Ball said. "Make sure you save your money because they’re gonna be $1,500 or more. Cause I’m gonna design them and they’re gonna be fly. My bad—they’re gonna be baller-ized."
Ball and his kids went shoe shopping with Complex and was asked who helped design the ZO2 sneaker and if it was a team effort. He gave an answer that led to yet another classic LaVar Ball quote (the exchange starts around the 4:35 minute mark): "Everything on that shoe, Lonzo created with no team. Just the creativity of a 19-year-old that knows what he likes. After all these shoes, it's a mixture of everything that he likes … A shoe is not that big of a deal. It's two things, stitching and glue. It isn't a science project."
Diego and Leandro Franco, brothers who founded the company in 2006, claim LaVar Ball, the father of UCLA product and future NBA draftee Lonzo Ball, stole the brand name by just adding “Big." They added that LaVar Ball “wasn’t creative enough to create his own brand name (and) just took ours. We are a company that started from ground zero 11 years ago,” the Franco brothers told USA TODAY Sports. They said they have hired legal counsel in Buenos Aires and are deliberating about how to move forward. “We have many proofs (of photos) that we (have been) doing this way before LaVar.”
LaVar Ball said Wednesday that if Nike, Under Armour or Adidas wants to make a deal with his Big Baller Brand now, the asking price is $3 billion. He also explained that he sees no need to market his products to women. In a wide-ranging, sometimes contentious interview with Fox Sports 1's "The Herd with Colin Cowherd," LaVar Ball reiterated that he wants his son, NBA prospect Lonzo Ball, to play only for the Los Angeles Lakers and revealed he has sold 400 to 500 pairs of $495 ZO2 shoes since they launched two weeks ago.
Ball was asked about dealing with the big shoe companies, and he said they will regret not making a deal with him after his son is picked by the Lakers. "Now that Lonzo's headed to Los Angeles, what they should have done is give me a billion dollars and let me be on my way," he said.
Fox Sports reporter Kristine Leahy, whom Ball earlier referred to as a "hater" and told to "stay in your lane" after she pressed him on the number of shoes sold, argued that for Big Baller Brand to be appealing to the big shoe companies, he would have to market his products to women. Ball scoffed at the idea. "Yeah, if you have a women's company. ... We're talking about Big Baller Brand," he said. Later in the interview, after several tense exchanges with Leahy, Ball said: "I never disrespect women, but I tell you what, if you act like that, something's coming to you and it's OK."
Jordan Crawford: I'm rolling wit Lavar! pic.twitter.com/iGg7HPGOau

http://twitter.com/jcraw55/status/862405724881682432
Much of social media was up in arms at the price of the main shoe, the ZO2, which retails for $495. When asked Friday about how he came up with the price point, LaVar said on ESPN Radio's The Dan Le Batard Show that he was the sole decision-maker. "I figure that's what the shoe is worth," LaVar said. "When you are your own owner you can come up with any price you want."
Former two-time NBA All-Star Stephon Marbury is still selling his Starbury shoes in stores in China and online in America starting at $14.98 after originally joining forces with the now-defunct Steve & Barry’s sporting goods store in 2006. If LaVar Ball, father of NBA prospect Lonzo Ball, hopes to get his Big Baller Brand going without the help of the major shoe companies, Marbury could offer some advice. “I would listen to what [LaVar Ball] had to say, definitely, if he called,” Marbury told The Undefeated from China. “It’s the delivery, that’s all. Sometimes people can’t accept the delivery. But I understand, because it’s his own feelings. I don’t agree with everything that he is saying, but I understand what he is saying.”
Ball has said that he would reach out to Chinese brands. What advice would you give to him? Marbury: Come rock with us. We know the structure that is needed. We don’t have the capital, but with my brand we have the resources for what is needed from the manufacturing side in China. He doesn’t have to do something with Starbury. We could work together where we can help put them into the position to speak to all the people who have that access to do what they want in China. I’m not saying I want him to come under my umbrella and be with Starbury, but I can position them by setting them up with the people that they need to speak to in order to create their infrastructure if they want to infuse capital into themselves.
One of the players expected to be drafted at the very top of the board is UCLA star freshman point guard Lonzo Ball. He is represented by Harrison Gaines as part of the newly formed Ball Sports Group. Gaines is a former employee at Impact Sports, where he worked alongside primary agents on contracts for NBA players Kawhi Leonard and Will Barton. Ball is also being represented in brand negotiations by Ball Sports Group’s founder – his outspoken father, LaVar – sources told The Vertical.
In his meetings with the three, LaVar insisted that the company license his upstart Big Baller Brand from him. He also showed the companies a shoe prototype that he hoped would be Lonzo's first shoe. "We've said from the beginning, we aren't looking for an endorsement deal," LaVar told ESPN. "We're looking for co-branding, a true partner. But they're not ready for that because they're not used to that model. But hey, the taxi industry wasn't ready for Uber, either."
LaVar says: "So I'm the worst thing that happened in 100 years? That's because everybody been in the darkness for 100 years, but you know how this bothers me? Not at all. Big Baller's chicken. Big Baller's barbecue. Call it what you want. "But George Raveling, you the worst man to be a best man. That's what I heard. How you gonna go to a guy's wedding and then stab him in the back? And you say this the worst thing I'm doing is talking and making chicken? "Let me tell you something, I know I'm on the right step because if nothing like this ain't happen in 100 years, then guess what? We in a new lane, baby. That Big Baller Brand about to be your competition."
Storyline: Big Baller Brand
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September 20, 2021 | 8:16 am EDT Update

OJ Mayo to Russia

UNICS Kazan announced the signing of former Milwaukee Bucks and Dallas Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo. The 33-year-old veteran will make his european debut in VTB League and the EuroLeague this season, signing a one-year deal with the club. Mayo has 573 NBA games under his belt, with the Memphis Grizzlies, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Dallas Mavericks, averaging 13.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.0 steal per contest.
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“Shabazz Napier underwent a comprehensive examination. He has a rather serious injury to the ligaments of the right ankle joint. On the positive side, I can say that there is no fracture and, therefore, there is no need for surgery, of the minuses, the recovery time is still unknown. We have all the necessary conditions to get him back on the floor quickly. All is needed is the support of the fans,” general manager Alexander Tserkovny said. Napier moved to Europe after six years in the NBA and showed promise in front of the season. In the first VTB SuperCup game, against UNICS, he banked in 33 points on 8-11 shooting including 6-8 from deep. He also dished out four assists during the 30 minutes on the floor.
Organizers of a planned museum about basketball great Larry Bird in Terre Haute are starting to assemble thousands of items ahead of its expected opening next year. The museum will be part of the new Terre Haute Convention Center, which remains under construction with an anticipated completion date of March 2022. It will include items donated by Bird and others from his career with the Boston Celtics, Indiana State University and the U.S. Olympic team. The site for work on cataloging the memorabilia is being modified for security and should be ready within weeks, the Tribune-Star reported.
September 20, 2021 | 4:09 am EDT Update
Brother Pau Gasol recently spoke with Spanish newspaper Marca, and the topic of Marc’s future came up. “Marc has earned the freedom and flexibility to make his own decision and he will do so when he decides. I know he has a lot of enthusiasm for Basquet Girona, a club in which I am also involved as vice president. He is in a different situation, because he is five years younger than me. We will see what he decides to do this season and later, I am also waiting.“