When Lonzo Ball slid a pair of his Big Baller Brand (BBB) sneakers down a garbage chute on Instagram, it played like alarm bells on a BBB sinking ship. Then came Lonzo covering his BBB tattoo and the allegations — followed by a lawsuit — that family friend and brand co-founder Alan Foster siphoned $1.5 million from the family-formed brand.
For 21-year-old Lonzo Ball, BBB was seemingly short lived. But father LaVar Ball says the brand is still alive. Is it? Without Lonzo, the 51 percent owner of BBB, in a full embrace of BBB and his signature shoe, LaVar has little support in the basketball community. Just how did BBB rise so fast and fall so hard? And will the fall stop now?
Everything about BBB has been loud. And a bit extreme. When LaVar hits the public airwaves to promote his sons — Lonzo, LiAngelo, and LaMelo — and his business endeavors from sneakers to basketball games and leagues he does so with a gusto yet not backed by results. That was true when in 2016 the brand launched and LaVar took to every television and radio show that would have him to sing the greatness claims of his son.
The number-two pick in the 2017 NBA draft passed on offers from Nike, Adidas and Under Armour, instead joining with the family to create BBB and the ZO2 sneaker, the first signature shoe for a rookie NBA player since LeBron James in 2003.