In some families, the apple not falling far from the tree is a perfect way of describing a parent and their offspring. This seems to be the case with LaVar and LaMelo Ball, where business is concerned.
LaMelo is being sued by former publicist Amber Johnson for $10 million in damages stemming from an endorsement deal she helped facilitate and was never paid for. Johnson alleges that after playing a significant role in securing Ball’s $100 million contract with PUMA, she still has not been paid the 10 percent the parties allegedly agreed upon.
If these allegations are true, LaMelo would seem to be following the same path as his father, LaVar. Since coming into national prominence on the back of oldest son Lonzo in 2017, LaVar has had his fair share of bad business deals.
We all remember the launch of LaVar’s Big Baller Brand. The Big Baller Brand ran into issues with pre-orders of the ZO2.19s. Lonzo’s signature shoe was delayed for six months, causing a total wait time of nearly a year for those who pre-ordered.
There was also an issue with Big Baller Brand co-founder Alan Foster. The Ball family cut ties with Foster, whom LaVar had a long-standing relationship with, after concerns arose about his involvement in missing money from Lonzo’s personal and business accounts, nearing $1.5 million.
Then, of course, Foster turned back around and sued LaVar accusing him of embezzling company funds to support his lavish lifestyle to the tune of over $2.5 million. The Ball family drama sounds like a bad soap opera or reality tv show. Oh, and they also had their own reality show for a while.
For whatever reason, the Ball family seems drawn toward doing shady business or dealing with questionable characters. With such a promising career ahead of him, it’d be a shame to witness LaMelo throw away money following the blueprint laid out in front of him.
Continuing to do business this way will eventually catch up, and maybe it already has. If Johnson’s claims prove accurate in court, it could be a tremendous blow to LaMelo’s wallet and credibility. If you rack up too many of these cases where you are alleged of stiffing business partners, eventually, you run out of trustworthy people to do business with.
LaMelo has the access and resources to drag this case out in court for as long as he wants. Hopefully, Johnson will eventually get what she worked for, but somehow it feels like Ball will probably get off easy here with a settlement of a much smaller number than $10 million.
With all the endorsement money LaMelo is bringing in, it’s just flat-out wrong for him to screw someone who helped procure his largest deal. Or any deal for that matter. But karma is unpredictable in the way it works. It usually comes back around to get you. Sometimes it takes a while, but it usually happens, and most times when least expected.