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Is Lonzo Really Signing with Nike?

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Just a few days ago, Lonzo Ball severed ties with Big Baller Brand co-founder Alan Foster, one of the main influences on Ball’s decision to create his own signature shoe rather than sign one of the guaranteed multi-million dollar endorsement deals that were offered to him by other shoe companies.

Bad Business Brand

Foster’s business plans with the ZO2’s and other merchandise didn’t create the best customer reviews for BBB either. For the past three years, Big Baller Brand has received 184 complaints on the Better Business Bureau, resulting in an F grade on their site.

Those weren’t the only concerns that Foster created for Big Baller Brand.

Foster, owner of 16.3 percent of Big Baller Brand, has a criminal past that the Ball Family had just found out about two weeks ago from an ESPN reporter. When Lonzo was asked about the history, he stated that he had no knowledge of any of it.

Complex

That criminal history of Foster’s includes an over seven-year sentence in 2002 in which Foster plead guilty to one count of mail fraud and two counts of money laundering. His involvement in those crimes defrauded 70 investors for $4 million.

This would most likely be the last straw for the Ball Family after they overlooked an email that was sent to Lonzo and LaVar in October, under the subject line “Urgent – $1.5 million Dollars missing.”

Suspicious Activity

Lonzo’s financial adviser Humble Lukanga, who sent the email to Lonzo and LaVar, had consistently been asking Foster the whereabouts of the missing $1.5 million, where Lukanga said Foster “won’t show any invoices or documentation of these expenses. He won’t even give me the number to the vendors he says he paid.”

Not only was it inexplicable how the $1.5 million went “missing”, but Foster even made a peculiar transaction between Big Baller Brand and his business, Marathon Consulting Inc., where he wired almost half a million dollars to himself.

Lukanga would also state in the email that “close to $2 million has touched Alan’s hands but $1.5 million of it has disappeared in cash and can’t be tracked.”

Lukanga would no longer represent Lonzo a month after the email was sent, but was recently rehired by Ball.

Since the recent allegations towards Foster have surfaced, Lonzo and his manager DMO have made several cryptic posts on his Instagram and Ball has even changed his avi on Twitter and Instagram from him sporting Big Baller Brand clothing to a picture of him as a child wearing a Nike t-shirt.

View this post on Instagram

Moving on to bigger and better #MyOwnMan

A post shared by Lonzo Ball (@zo) on

With the idea of Lonzo signing with another shoe company not being so far-fetched, he has stated before that “If I didn’t play in [his signature shoes], I’d play in Kobe [Bryant’s signature Nike shoe]. I work out in [LeBron James’ signature Nike shoe], but that’s because they’re heavier.”

ESPN senior writer Ramona Shelburne also tweeted a few things in regards to Lonzo’s situation.

Lonzo and LaMelo Ball have both unfollowed Big Baller Brand on Instagram since the discussions of folding Big Baller Brand have came to light.

Lonzo + Swoosh?

All the signs are there. Lonzo Ball being around business and basketball moguls Magic Johnson and LeBron James has elevated him to start becoming more business savvy. In a result of that, the decision to cut ties with Foster was his own independent decision without any input from his father.

Lonzo won’t play his next NBA game until the beginning of the 2019-20 season as he has been shut down for the remainder of this season with an ankle injury. This upcoming year could have the most upside for him in his career. He’ll take control of his situation and have a fresh start with a different shoe company that will hopefully help him play his first full season in the NBA after playing just 99 of a possible 164 games in his first two seasons.

We should expect that whatever his next move is, he will make that decision solely on his own and that we’ll see it nationally broadcasted.

Lonzo’s next move is the biggest of his career so far.

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About Juwan M. Davis

Editor/Writer for NBALEAD. Born and raised in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Living in Los Angeles. Minnesota Timberwolves fan. Twitter: @JuwanMalikDavis

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