A lawsuit was filed this week in California that accuses Charlotte Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball, his family’s business, and PUMA of fraud.
The case, which was filed on behalf of Alan Foster, a former friend and business advisor, makes allegations of fraud, unfair business practices, and trademark infringement.
The lawsuit is the most recent development in the ongoing conflict between the Ball family and the former business advisor. Foster alleged in the lawsuit that, thanks to his three NBA player sons, he assisted LaVar Ball in creating a commercial empire.
Foster stated in the lawsuit that he assisted the Ball family in launching the “Big Baller Brand” at the beginning of 2016.
In the lawsuit, Foster claims he came up with LaMelo’s “MB1” sneaker line and filed for several trademarks related to it, according to TMZ Sports.
attempted to transfer over the trademarks after creating a second version of Big Baller Brand. Foster also claims that his trademarks were infringed upon when LaMelo created his new signature shoe with Puma, the “MB.01.”
“LaMelo was instrumental in creating his first signature shoe with Big Baller Brand,” Foster wrote in the suit, according to TMZ. “He was fully aware of the existence of the LaMelo trademarks; he helped design them.
“He knew that his Big Baller Brand signature shoe was called the ‘MB1’ and that the name was protected by federal trademark. Yet, despite his knowledge of all of this, LaMelo willfully and deliberately chose to name the signature shoe he created and designed with PUMA the ‘MB1’ in violation of the LaMelo trademarks.”
Foster is seeking damages in excess of $200 million.
Foster and Big Baller Brand have been feuding for some time as he previously sued LaVar and Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball in 2019, alleging the Balls embezzled millions from Big Baller Brand to fund a lavish lifestyle. Lonzo sued Foster for $2 million after he learned Foster had served prison time in 2002 for money laundering, ESPN reported at the time.
LaMelo inked an endorsement deal with Puma prior to the 2020 NBA Draft.