In some families, the apple that doesn’t fall far from the tree is a perfect way of describing a parent and their offspring. That seems to be the case for LaVar and LaMelo Ball as far as business goes.
LaMelo is being sued by former publicist Amber Johnson for $10 million in damages resulting from an endorsement deal she helped facilitate that was never paid. Johnson claims that after playing a significant role in securing Ball’s $100 million contract with PUMA still hasn’t paid her the 10 percent the parties reportedly agreed on.
If these claims are true, LaMelo appears to be following the same path as his father, LaVar. Since bursting into national prominence on the back of eldest 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 had issues with pre-orders of the ZO2.19. Lonzo’s signature shoe was late at six months, causing a total wait of almost a year for those who pre-ordered.
There was also an issue with Big Baller Brand co-founder Alan Foster. The Ball family split from Foster, with whom LaVar had a long-term relationship, after concerns arose about his involvement with him missing money from Lonzo personal and business accounts totaling nearly $1.5 million.
Then, of course, Foster turned around and sued LaVar, blaming him fraudulent company Funds to support his lavish lifestyle totaling over $2.5 million. The family drama ball sounds like a bad soap opera or reality TV show. Oh, and they had their own too reality show for a while.
For some reason, the Ball family seems drawn to doing shady deals or dealing with questionable characters. With one like that promising career before him it would be a shame to see LaMelo throw away money according to the plan laid out before him.
Continuing business in this way will eventually catch up, and perhaps it already has. If Johnson’s claims prove accurate in court, it could deal a serious blow to LaMelo’s wallet and credibility. If you accumulate too many of these cases where you’re accused of stiffening business partners, you’ll eventually run out of trustworthy people to do business with.
LaMelo has the access and resources to keep this case in court for as long as he wants. Hopefully Johnson will eventually get what she’s worked for, but somehow it feels like Ball will likely get away easily here with a settlement of a much smaller number than $10 million.
With all the advertising money LaMelo is raking in, it’s just wrong to screw someone who helped land their biggest deal. Or any deal for that matter. But karma is unpredictable in how it works. It usually comes back to get you. Sometimes it takes a while, but it usually happens and usually when least expected.