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LaMelo Ball and Puma Named in $200 Million Lawsuit

LaMelo Ball In an NBA Game with Puma and Big Baller Brand Logos Added

LaMelo Ball, his family's Big Baller Brand, and global sports company Puma are at the center of a $200 million lawsuit alleging fraud, trademark infringement, and unfair business practices. According to WBTV in Charlotte, the legal action was filed in California by Alan Foster, a former friend and business advisor to the Ball family, and co-founder of Big Baller Brand.

This relationship between Foster and the Ball family soured in 2019 when Lonzo Ball, LaMelo's older brother, severed ties with Alan. The split came amid allegations from Lonzo accusing Foster of siphoning money from the company. This claim led to a lawsuit from Lonzo seeking $2 million in damages after learning of Foster's past incarceration for money laundering. Following this, Foster counter-sued Lavar Ball, alleging that he was using company money to fund his extravagant lifestyle.

After he was ousted from Big Baller Brand, Foster alleges that the Ball family created a new entity using trademarks which he helped create years prior, leading to this suit.

Who Is Being Sued?

The current lawsuit, naming LaMelo Ball, Puma, and Big Baller Brand as the defendants, levels that Foster laid the groundwork for LaMelo's commercial success.

Alan Foster's History With The Ball Family

Alan Foster and LaVar Ball became close when their sons became friends in the seventh grade and from there a business relationship developed. The two created Big Baller Brand with Alan holding a 33% stake in the brand's parent company Ball Sports Group and a 16.3% stake in Big Baller Brand itself. After discovering Foster pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and two counts of money laundering, LaVar ousted Foster from the company and multiple lawsuits have since emerged.

What Is This Case About?

Foster contends that he was instrumental in building the Ball family's business empire, which leveraged the basketball prowess of the Ball brothers. He asserts his significant role in launching the Big Baller Brand with the family in 2016 and aiding LaMelo in debuting his 'MB1' signature shoe line in 2017 while the athlete was still in high school. Alan maintains that the trademarks he helped establish during this time are now worth over $200 million.

Puma and LaMelo Ball introduced the Puma MB line in late 2021 to much success and are now onto the third iteration of the performance basketball sneaker, the Puma MB.03.

We’ll see how this plays out in court over the coming months and what (if any) possible effects this may have on Puma's signature line with LaMelo and with each of the other parties involved. For more updates on this case and the latest happenings in the sneaker world, download the Sole Retriever mobile app.

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