LaVar Ball to Offer Athletes Big Baller Brand Ownership Stake to Sign Contract

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IMarch 9, 2020

LaVar Ball watches the second half of an NBA basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday, Jan. 3, 2020, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 123-113. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

LaVar Ball will do whatever it takes for Big Baller Brand to be successful. 

While appearing on the Maybe I'm Crazy with Joy Taylor podcast Monday, the Ball patriarch stated he plans to offer athletes ownership in his company rather than only an endorsement:

Big Baller Brand was in turmoil last April when Lonzo Ball, the eldest of LaVar's sons and point guard for the New Orleans Pelicans, filed a lawsuit against Alan Foster, the company's former co-founder and manager, last April.

ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported at the time the lawsuit was for "damages of more than $2 million plus interest, alleging that Foster 'conspired to embezzle millions of dollars and then divert those funds for his personal use, including to acquire assets in Ethiopia.'" 

News of Lonzo Ball's lawsuit came after Shelburne had reported in March 2019 that the entire Ball family "had discussions over the weekend about folding" Big Baller Brand. That did not come to fruition, though Lonzo has distanced himself from Big Baller Brand by covering up his "BBB" tattoo and publicly insulting the shoes' quality:

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Instead, LaVar visited TMZ Sports' "TMZ Roundtable" in January and outlined a slew of new BBB projects in the works:

"Big Baller Brand ain't never left," he said before later going into more detail: 

"More shoes. Definitely. Definitely. It's like this, man, with the Big Baller Brand, you guys get it mixed up thinking my boys is the [Big Baller Brand]. If Lonzo don't do Big Baller Brand, we still go. If [LaMelo] don't do it, we still go. [LiAngelo] don't do it, we still go. Now, if I don't do it, it's a done deal. It's a wrap. I'm the one who shut down Big Baller Brand. If I don't shut it down, it ain't going nowhere.

[...]

"The goal for Big Baller Brand for 2020, 2020 is the new vision for the Big Baller Brand. We just gonna grow. We gonna grow a little bit at a time, man. ... In April, I got water coming out. Big Baller Brand water. It'll be in 2,500 stores. Two months after that, I got rims and tires coming out."

The youngest Ball brother, LaMelo, has a real chance to be the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA draft come June after spending this season with the Illawarra Hawks of Australia's National Basketball League. ESPN's NBL reporter Corey Williams disclosed in December that LaMelo had been offered a $100 million sneaker endorsement deal with an undisclosed brand:

The middle brother, LiAngelo, officially signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder's G League affiliate earlier Monday.

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