It was announced that Lonzo Ball parted ways with Big Baller Brand co-founder and LaVar’s longtime friend, Alan Foster, on Friday after ESPN reported that $1.5 million of Lonzo’s money was unaccounted for and allegedly taken by Foster.
The report was a major blow for LaVar’s start-up apparel and shoe brand, which had been reeling since its failing grade from the Better Business Bureau. But the problems could just be getting started for the Triple-B’s.
Lonzo and LaMelo look to be on their way out.
On Saturday, Lonzo posted on Instagram a photo of himself in his Nike Lakers jersey with Nike’s tagline of “It’s only a crazy dream until you do it.” The Lakers guard posted that he was moving on to “bigger and better” in the caption. He added a hashtag of “#MyOwnMan.”
The post was liked by Lakers Nike teammates LeBron James and Josh Hart. It didn’t stop there — LaMelo commented on the post, thanking Lonzo for getting both of them out.
The hints at a Big Baller Brand exit continued with both LaMelo and Lonzo unfollowing Big Baller Brand’s social accounts, and Lonzo deleting all the Big Baller Brand promotional posts from his Instagram. Lonzo’s new Twitter avatar shows him wearing a Nike T-shirt as a child.
They weren’t exactly being subtle about this situation.
LaMelo Ball comments “Love u brotha, thanks for getting us out my g” in Lonzo’s recent post! Zo, Gelo & Melo have all UNFOLLOWED Big Baller Brand!
— Ball Br0thers (@BallBr0thersIG) March 24, 2019
In the ESPN report, it was noted that the Lakers voiced concerns about both Big Baller Brand’s failing BBB grade and if the shoes were causing Lonzo’s ankle issues.
“Yeah, they talked to me,” Lonzo Ball told ESPN two weeks ago. “They asked me about it, and I told ’em, ‘I feel comfortable. If I wasn’t comfortable, I wouldn’t play in ’em. If I didn’t play in [his signature BBB shoes], I’d play in Kobe [Bryant’s signature Nike shoe]. I work out in [LeBron James’ signature Nike shoe], but that’s because they’re heavier.”
Lonzo also said he told the Lakers he was open to making adjustments — “just minor things,” he said — to his Big Baller Brand shoes if needed.
Big Baller Brand collaborated with Brandblack for the ZO2 sneaker designs and received decent marks from shoe experts. But when it comes to engineering and resources, it’s impossible for Big Baller Brand to compete with the shoe giants like Nike and Adidas or even Under Armour.
At this point, no official announcement has been made on the Ball brothers’ status with Big Baller Brand. LaMelo, who is almost certainly ineligible for NCAA competition next season, would be a massive draw for Nike along with Lonzo. If the brothers do leave their father’s company (that Lonzo actually holds a 51 percent stake in), the development could spell the end of Big Baller Brand.
These next few weeks will be telling as LaMelo is slated to play in the March 31 Big Baller Brand All-American Game.