Los Angeles Lakers star Lonzo Ball announced today that he has severed ties with his family’s Big Baller Brand’s co-founder, Alan Foster, after nearly $1.5 million from his personal and business accounts managed by Foster has allegedly gone missing.
The Lakers guard claimed in an interview with ESPN that Foster has “used his access to my business and personal finances to enrich himself. As a result, I have decided to sever all ties with Alan, effective immediately.”
Foster is a longtime friend of Lonzo’s father, LaVar Ball, who manages the Ball family’s business ventures and owns 16.3 percent of Big Baller Brand, the sports network reported.
“This has been a very difficult decision as I had a great deal of love and respect for Alan,” Lonzo conintued. “But the time has come for me to take responsibility for my own career both on and off the court.”
In a statement issued to ESPN, LaVar lamented trusting his friend of 10 years.
“I’ve always believed in the best in people. Regretfully, I put my complete trust in Alan Foster to manage my son’s business affairs,” LaVar said. “At the end of the day, family comes first, and I support Zo wholeheartedly. Together, we will make this right.”
In documents obtained by ESPN, Lonzo’s financial adviser, Humble Lukanga, raised concerns last October to LaVar and Lonzo that $1.5 million in cash allegedly went missing from their account without an explanation from Foster.
ESPN has made several requests to Foster for comments. Foster has not issued a public statement about the claims.
In May 2017, Big Baller Brand debuted its first collection of footwear featuring three styles: the ZO2 Signature Slides, the ZO2: Wet and the ZO2: Prime.
Speaking to FN in a previous interview, LaVar — the outspoken Ball patriarch — said he couldn’t come to terms with boldface name brands Nike, Under Armour and Adidas on a deal he deemed favorable for his son ahead of his debut in the NBA. Instead, he planned for Lonzo to lace up in his own brand.
“Everyone is stuck in the same lane where they’re always thinking about an endorsement deal,” LaVar said to FN.
In what would be an unprecedented move for a rookie, LaVar sought to create a partnership between his BBB and one of the sportswear giants that would see the 21-year-old receive a generous split of profits and his own signature shoe for his debut as a pro.
“All three doors are closed. I don’t want to go back to them,” the elder Ball said. “They think I’m going to come back to them and be like, ‘It didn’t work. Come on, give us something.’ But I don’t need nothing from those guys.”