Alan Foster, a former friend and business partner who helped create the Big Baller Brand with LaVar Ball in 2016, has filed a lawsuit against the family. LaVar had established the athletic apparel brand inspired by his basketball star sons, “Ball Brothers” Lonzo, LaMelo and LiAngelo.
Foster is taking the Ball family as well as sports brand Puma to court because he says he is owed more than $200 million, according to WBTV-3 in Charlotte, NC.
“Given the fame that both Lonzo Ball and LaMelo Ball have obtained through their NBA careers and the worldwide appeal of Big Baller Brand, gained largely due to Alan’s marketing efforts and business acumen, the commercial value of the LaMelo Trademarks, Lonzo Ball Trademark, and BBB Trademark are estimated to far exceed $200 million,” the lawsuit stated, per WBTV-3.
When Puma signed LaMelo to a $100 million deal in October 2020, it was right before the basketball star headed to the league to play for the Charlotte Hornets.
This didn’t sit well with Foster, as he states it infringed upon his trademark.
“LaMelo was instrumental in creating his first signature shoe with Big Baller Brand. He was fully aware of the existence of the LaMelo Trademarks—he helped design them,” the lawsuit read, according to the Bleacher Report. “He knew that his Big Baller Brand signature shoe was called the ‘MB1’ and that the name was protected by federal trademark. Yet, despite his knowledge of all of this, LaMelo willfully and deliberately chose to name the signature shoe he created and designed with PUMA the ‘MB1’ in violation of the LaMelo Trademarks.”
This isn’t the first lawsuit being brought to the table between Foster and the Ball family. In 2019, Foster was sued for $2 million by Lonzo Ball for conspiring “to embezzle millions of dollars and then divert those funds for his personal use, including to acquire assets in Ethiopia,” ESPN reports.
Foster did later counter sue, claiming LaVar Ball used company money “to fund an extravagant lifestyle.”