LaMelo Ball, along with his family and sneaker giant PUMA, have been sued by Alan Foster, the co-founder of Big Baller Brand. Foster claims that he was integral to the early success of the Ball Family sneaker brand and lost out on millions of dollars when patriarch LaVar ousted Foster by creating a new BBB entity. Amongst his claims, Foster alleges to have been the mastermind, and trademark owner, for LaMelo's first signature show, the MB1. Furthermore, Foster named PUMA in the suit, stating that the MB.01 shoe the company developed for LaMelo infringed on his trademark.
"LaMelo was instrumental in creating his first signature shoe with Big Baller Brand. 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 wrote in the suit. He is reportedly seeking $200 million in damages. Furthermore, Foster has previously sued, and been sued by, the Ball family.
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LaMelo Ball Enjoying Solid Start To Season
Away from the courtroom, LaMelo is enjoying a solid start to the 2023/24 NBA season. Through seven games, he is averaging 19.6 points, 5 rebounds, and 9 assists. Furthermore, he has put up at least 30 points in back-to-back games in recent losses against Dallas and Washington. Currently, Terry Rozier leads the Hornets in scoring while new starting center Mark Williams, who won the job over Kai Jones, is the top rebounding. Vaunted rookie Brandon Miller is yet to earn a starting role, coming off the bench in five of his seven appearances.
However, the Hornets are still firmly a team in the midst of a rebuild. Charlotte is 2-5, having picked up a shock season-opening win over the Hawks as well as a one-point win over the Pacers. Their most recent game was a thorough rout at the hands of the Wizards, losing 132-116. Despite this, the season is less than ten games old. Furthermore, Charlotte's division is surprisingly competitive. The Hawks are 4-3 leaders. Meanwhile, last year's NBA Finals participants Miami are 4-4. If the Charlotte can build off LaMelo's strong start, they could be a fringe play-in team.