Lakers' Lonzo Ball severs ties with Big Baller Brand business partner over alleged missing money, criminal past
There is some drama going on with the Ball family's signature brand
There are some issues within the Big Baller Brand.
According to a statement by Lakers second-year point guard Lonzo Ball, as reported by ESPN, Ball has severed ties with longtime family friend, and the co-founder of Big Baller Brand, Alan Foster, due to concerns about his criminal past and alleged money missing from Ball's own accounts.
Foster has been a friend of Ball's father, LaVar, for many years, and owns over 15 percent of BBB. He was instrumental in convincing Ball to create the brand in the first place in 2014. Initial concerns about Foster's business decisions and communications were raised by Ball's financial advisor, Humble Lukanga, last fall.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball has severed ties with a co-founder of Big Baller Brand over concerns that the longtime family friend has a criminal past and also has not adequately accounted for the whereabouts of roughly $1.5 million from Ball's personal and business accounts.
Ball told ESPN that he believes that Alan Foster, a friend of Lonzo's father for almost a decade who owns 16.3 percent of Big Baller Brand, had "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 met the Ball family not long after being released from prison for his role in the 2002 financial scheme. Foster was already facing the financial crimes charges when he was found guilty in Los Angeles County on a 1999 citation for carrying a concealed handgun without a license. And in September 2009, while still under probation for the financial scheme conviction, Foster was arrested on a felony-level violation of his supervised release that is not specified in court documents. He was sentenced to five months in prison and was released in February 2010, which would have been about a year before he met the Ball family.
The initial allegations against Foster came as a surprise to the members of the Ball family, especially LaVar, who had placed his trust in Foster.
"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 light of the situation with Foster, Lonzo's agent, Harrison Gaines, said in a statement he will be taking "a more active role" in his client's career.
It's unfortunate that this happened to Ball, who already has his hands full with recovering from the ankle injury that forced him to miss a large chunk of the 2018-19 season. In the 47 games that he did play, he averaged 9.9 points, 5.4 assists, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.5 steals in 30.3 minutes per game.
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