Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball has severed all ties to Alan Foster, family friend and co-founder of his family’s Big Baller Brand sportswear company, as reported by Ramona Shelburne and Paula Lavigne of ESPN. According to the ESPN report, Lonzo Ball presented the following statement in regards to his decision:
“[Foster] used his access to my business and personal finances to enrich himself. As a result, I have decided to sever all ties with Alan, effective immediately.”
ESPN’s report recounts how filing taxes for Big Baller Brand as well as Lonzo Ball’s personal finances could not be completed on time due to $1.5 million being unaccounted for, upon which Foster’s ethics within the Ball family businesses was brought into question by Lonzo’s financial adviser Humble Lukanga, stating the following in an email to Lonzo and Ball family patriarch LaVar:
“[Foster] won’t show any invoices or documentation of these expenses. He won’t even give me the number to the vendors he says he paid. I’VE NEVER SEEN A COMPANY OPERATE BY WITHDRAWING MILLIONS IN CASH … Only you and Alan can withdraw cash and I know you didn’t take out $1.5 million dollars … SO WHERE IS THE MONEY???”
Despite the fiery email, Lukanga’s claims were reportedly not placed under scrutiny by LaVar until this week. LaVar released a statement to ESPN calling the developments regarding Foster “devastating”, elaborating:
“I’ve always believed in the best in people. Regretfully, I put my complete trust in Alan Foster to manage my son’s business affairs. At the end of the day, family comes first, and I support Zo wholeheartedly. Together, we will make this right.”
The developments surrounding Alan Foster only add to Lonzo Ball’s turmoil-filled season, which has seen the former UCLA Bruin have his sophomore campaign cut short with an ankle injury following finding himself as the subject of trade speculation which ultimately never materialized. Following his injury, the Lakers have missed the production Ball brings to the court, having averaged 9.9 points, 5.4 assists, and 5.3 rebounds in his 47 appearances this season, especially missing the defensive consistency Lonzo Ball brings to the court, as the Lakers have fallen to 30-41 and out of playoff contention.