NBA Rumor: Big Baller Brand

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Foster was accused of not being able to account for $1.5 million, before he then levied an allegation that LaVar had embezzled $2.5 million from their companies. Asked about the future of the company, considering Foster’s pending civil suit, LaVar went on the offensive. “Alan Foster, what he gonna do? Everything he’s done is false, it’s fake,” LaVar said. “It’s just like the documents that’s been signed. They’ll find out that he forged them. Therefore, I’m still gonna go forward… he don’t stop nothing. His last name is Foster. Originally, we are a family brand. I tried to help him out by bringing him into the family. That’s why I don’t worry about the things that he says, and the childish things.”

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“The Big Baller Brand is alive and well,” Denise White, a representative for LaVar Ball, told ESPN. “The brand has been restructuring and we are working to reveal the new website in the next few weeks. It will have a new look and new name (www.BigBallerBrandInc.com). “LaVar Ball has put a great team of seasoned industry professionals in place to move the brand forward with exciting new products along with signature shoes and sportswear under the Ball name. Unfortunately Alan Foster continues to try and leverage the Ball Family name for his own gain. Alan Foster is a convicted felon who served seven years in jail for defrauding people out of their money. He is a thief and con man and cannot be believed or trusted.”

LaVar Ball and the Big Baller Brand are preparing for the future, but they still don’t have a commitment from their brightest young star, LaMelo Ball. In this week’s episode of “Ball in the Family,” LaMelo told Big Baller Brand’s pitch team that he’s going to take his time and weigh all of his options before deciding who he’s going to sign a shoe deal with. TMZ Sports reported that Nike was one of the shoe companies “actively scouting” the 18-year-old guard. “[Big Baller Brand] giving me things to think about that and I appreciate that. But the brands not where my head is. Right now, it’s just on basketball. It’s pretty much my main focus,” LaMelo said.

LaVar Ball is firing back at his ex-BBB business partner Alan Foster … claiming the scathing allegations against LaVar in a new lawsuit are total BBBS. “Alan Foster’s claims are not only unfounded and devoid of any truth, but are an egregious attempt to turn the attention away from the millions of dollars that he embezzled from the Ball Family and the Ball Family Business,” Ball said in a statement. “Not only will LaVar Ball and his family continue to vigorously pursue their civil action against Foster seeking civil damages, but will also continue to cooperate with law enforcement in order to seek justice for his egregious actions.” “The Ball family are all united in relentlessly pursuing Foster for his grave injustices, and will always fight to protect the respected Ball family name, despite Foster’s futile attempt to defile it.”

Ramona Shelburne: Ball Family statement: “Alan Foster’s claims are not only unfounded and devoid of any truth, but are an egregious attempt to turn the attention away from the millions of dollars that he embezzled from the Ball Family and the Ball Family Business. Not only will LaVar Ball and his family continue to vigorously pursue their civil action against Foster seeking civil damages, but will also continue to cooperate with law enforcement in order to seek justice for his egregious actions.”
2 years ago via ESPN

Lonzo enters the 2019-20 season with a new team — and with new shoes on his feet. On The Woj Pod, he explained how he wouldn’t do anything different and has no regrets about wearing Big Baller Brand shoes to begin his NBA career. “It was different, but at the same time, we were trying to build a brand,” Lonzo said about coming out of UCLA and wearing his own shoes. “I had to wear them. But there was no way we could play in the shoes I had in summer league. There was no way they would make it to the NBA court. “I’m grateful we got to link up with Brandblack for getting me a better shoe. … I played in Kobes my whole life, then switching it up at the last stage, it was different for me. But I don’t make excuses. I don’t regret anything I did.”

What followed was an exchange already seen in a “Ball in the Family” trailer, with Lonzo getting real with LaVar about the brand and Foster: LONZO: The brand is demolished right now. LAVAR: That’s how you feel, “The brand is demolished.” LONZO: That’s how everybody feels. LAVAR: Who’s everybody? LONZO: The world. The consumers. LAVAR: The world? That’s the consumers you’ve talked to? LONZO: Yeah, it’s all messed up right now. LAVAR: Why is it messed up? Because one person did something bad? LONZO: He was the main person. LAVAR: He wasn’t the main person. LONZO: He ran everything.

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.

“If you have my shoes from those games they just exploded, I don’t know how we didn’t get caught.” Asked why he persisted with a shoe that wasn’t close to safe Ball simply said he had to due to being too far down the rabbit hole. ”They was my shoe, we had to debut them — we went so far with it and I am like ‘cool I can get a quarter in’ but nobody noticed and by the end of that quarter they were beat up. “And when I changed them I was like ‘damn I’m good again’. “The real truth — I was scared.”

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.”

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:

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.

2 years ago via ESPN

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.

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?’”

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.”
4 years ago via ESPN

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.
4 years ago via ESPN

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.”
4 years ago via ESPN

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.
4 years ago via ESPN

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.”

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.
4 years ago via ESPN

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.”
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September 19, 2021 | 7:06 am EDT Update
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Storyline: Ekpe Udoh Injury