Lonzo Ball's career changed significantly when it was revealed that Big Baller Brand founder Alan Foster allegedly stole $2 million from him. He had initially insulated himself from many of the typical off-court concerns of an NBA star by surrounding himself only with family and friends rather than traditional agents and business associates.
That changed with the Foster scandal. Ball hired CAA to represent him in basketball matters, and it was assumed that he would soon leave Big Baller Brand for a more established shoe company as well. That hasn't happened, and while he hasn't made any official announcements on his sneaker future, he has said that he and his father, LaVar Ball, are on good terms and that he is open to remaining with his family's company provided he can do so on his own terms.
If an argument from the latest episode of Facebook's "Ball in the Family" series is any indication, that is going to be difficult. LaVar, in a heated manner as transcribed by Christian Rivas of Lonzo Wire, attempted to turn the tables on his son by suggesting that his own performance has been part of the problem for Big Baller Brand.
"Listen to me, son: When I come out with a name and then somebody tell me to change it, that's like me telling me to change your name," LaVar said. "That's like people saying 'Oh, yeah, change Lonzo's name to Alfonzo on the fact that he been damaged goods for the last two years.'"
Lonzo, traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the New Orleans Pelicans as part of the blockbuster Anthony Davis deal this offseason, has missed 65 games in two NBA seasons, and while he has been an effective player when healthy, he hasn't been the superstar many expected. That lends a shred of credibility to LaVar's argument, but context makes the statement mostly baffling.
Lonzo is Big Baller Brand's only current NBA endorser, and it was the value of his own name that made the brand a viable business. Many have speculated that the poor quality of Big Baller Brand's shoes are responsible for Ball's injuries, a suspicion Lonzo all but confirmed in a recent interview.
Moreover, LaVar is Lonzo's father. While the two are business partners, and matters such as the name of their shared company can get contentious, to hear any father calling his own son "damaged goods" is disconcerting. While Lonzo's footwear decision for the 2019-20 season is still unknown, the future of Big Baller Brand doesn't exactly seem rosy in light of LaVar's words.