Lonzo Ball and his family have been the most visible representatives of Big Baller Brand, but the Lakers expressed concern that BBB shoes might be responsible for Ball’s frequent ankle injuries, according to Ramona Shelburne and Paula Lavigne of ESPN.
Ball has been sidelined since hurting his ankle on January 19 and was ultimately shut down for the rest of the season with a Grade 3 ankle sprain and a bone bruise. It’s the third ankle injury in two NBA seasons for Ball, who played just 47 games this season and 52 last year.
“Yeah, they talked to me,” Ball said of Lakers management. “They asked me about it, and I told ’em, ‘I feel comfortable.’ If I wasn’t comfortable, I wouldn’t play in ’em. If I didn’t play in [his signature BBB 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.”
Ball told the Lakers he was willing to make adjustments to his Big Baller shoes, but said he meant “just minor things.”
The Lakers also reached out to Alan Foster, a partial owner of Big Baller Brand, about customer complaints to the Better Business Bureau, the ESPN story states. The company received a failing grade from the bureau in 2018 because of 184 consumer complaints, mostly related to shipping issues.
“They still have an F with us,” Blair Looney, president of the Better Business Bureau of Central California and Inland Empire Counties, told ESPN. “We are continuing to work with them on straightening things out.”
The information about the Lakers is contained in a larger story about Ball ending his relationship with Foster, the family’s former business manager, over concerns about a criminal past and his inability to account for $1.5MM.