Last week, LaVar Ball was redeemed. NBA scouts projected his youngest son to be a top-5 lottery pick (at the very least), and perhaps a number one pick. LaMelo Ball is a combo guard that can dish the no look. He can also drive to the rim and finish. He’s a scorer and has a healthy compliment of the arrogance the great scorers possess. A point guard/shooting guard who is unselfish describes LaMelo Ball’s play in Australia. Don’t judge him by that garbage he put out in Lithuania. He’s the real deal.
The never finished high school Ball has always been the one LaVar kid who had the potential to be special in the league. Athleticism, scoring talent, and a look at a me game was often lost in that dark place of immaturity. But his gifts can’t be overlooked.
LaVar has always touted his youngest child as elite- and of course taking credit for it. When professional scouts witnessed LaMelo play in Australia last week they were sold. It turns out, LaVar was right after all.
He was right about Lonzo too, once you take away the hubris about Lonzo winning ROY and being better than Steph Curry. Lonzo should be a 15 year pro. He has size, he has innate talent as a defender, he is unselfish, he makes the extra pass. He’s not athletic like some at his position and his shooting talent is mediocre. But he can run a team in spite of not dominating offensively.
Finally LaVar was getting decent press. He had his I-told-you-so moment. And then, he woke up to a counter suit against him.
It stems from Lonzo’s lawsuit against Big Baller Brand co-founder Alan Foster. Because $1.5 million went missing from his personal stash, Lonzo sued Foster. Now Foster, has fired back and in a big way. He puts all the LaVar shade and business into the street as a legal argument and it is devastating for Ball’s reputation because everything he says is what many think.
He’s marketing his kids for his own benefits. “LaVar approached Alan and asked for his business guidance on how to monopolize and gain fortune and fame from their names and likenesses.”
LaVar’s ego is epic. “LaVar loved Alan’s idea [brand the ‘Ball’ name] and wanted to make sure that he was the biggest star in the family.”
LaVar isn’t an Earvin Johnson business clone. “He was broke, had no savings, and poor credit, and zero business acumen.”
Usually in civil suits you have to follow the money. Alan Foster who owned 16% of BBB is accusing daddy Ball of embezzling $2.5 million. That money, according to Foster, went to purchase stuff. Cars, home remodeling, luxuries. Foster isn’t without his own baggage. He spent time in jail for defrauding investors. Foster’s case against the Ball(s) for fraudulent concealment and breach of contract is based on his view that LaVar helped himself to $2.6 million, not just from Big Baller Brand but Ball Sports Group.
A few months ago, Alan Foster was the scapegoat for the disaster that is Big Baller Brand. With this legal filing, he wants to set the record straight and clear his name. It is how he is spinning the countersuit. He also wants to be a whistleblower. He “seeks to set the record straight, clear his name, expose LaVar’s scheme to cover up his theft of over $2.6 million, and hold LaVar and Lonzo to their contractual obligations.”
It’s a he said- she said. Foster stole the money. No, daddy Ball did. A judge and conflicting depositions will sort through all the mess. In Lonzo’s suit against Foster, he said that Foster was using the money he embezzled to gain assets in Ethiopia. The FBI also looked into Foster as a liar and cheat.
What Foster details in his suit is that the money he was cheated out of goes farther than BBB. When Lonzo was in college, he didn’t like the food or the lack of air conditioning so Foster rented him a condo per the request of Lonzo and LaVar. Foster also claims it was he who paid for Lonzo’s personal trainer, laptops, food, etc.
Both sides are throwing out the dirt on the other to see what sticks. In all of it, LaVar has the most to lose because it is his reputation he was selling every time he went on ESPN. His infamy circles his three sons who were supposed to all be superstars. So far he’s batting .000. Perhaps, LaMelo changes things. But by the time LaMelo is drafted we will know something. We will know who LaVar Ball is. A father who was victimized by a felon. Or, a grifter used car salesman whose 15 minutes of fame is finally over.