LaMelo Ball has signed his endorsement deal, and it’s not with the relaunched family business.
The youngest member of the Ball family has officially signed with Puma, the brand announced on Wednesday.
— PUMA (@PUMA) October 14, 2020
Ball, who spent the previous basketball season playing in Australia, is considered among the top talents in a wide-open 2020 NBA draft. Yahoo Sports’ Krysten Peek has Ball going second overall to the Golden State Warriors in her most recent mock draft. The NBA draft is scheduled to take place on Nov. 18, five months later than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ball had previously been reported to be finalizing a deal with Puma back in August. He is the latest get for a company that has been aggressive trying to take a chunk of the basketball market in recent years.
Some more photo evidence of Ball’s new apparel supplier:
— B/R Kicks (@brkicks) October 14, 2020
Ball signing with Puma is obviously notable because it means he will not be promoting Big Baller Brand, the company created by his father with the aim of leveraging his sons’ fame into a lasting business.
Big Baller Brand looking doomed … again
The last time we left LaVar Ball, Big Baller Brand was rising from the ashes in February after a stretch of time in which the company’s website wasn’t even operational, not to mention an “F” from the Better Business Bureau and an alleged seven-figure embezzlement by Ball’s business partner.
Ball touted the brand’s new website, signaling a new start:
“The Big Baller Brand is BACK and better than ever! Over the past year, my team and I have been working diligently to expand Big Baller Brand and improve the overall customer experience,” said LaVar Ball, CEO of Big Baller Brand, in a statement. “We are thrilled to announce the launch of our new website BigBallerBrandInc.com. I want to thank our loyal fans for patiently waiting for the relaunch and continuing to grow with our family!
Nine months later, the family’s two most important faces seem to be moving on from the company.
LaMelo is the first to officially sign elsewhere, while Lonzo Ball — who incidentally owns the majority of the company — is set to follow him, according to ESPN’s Nick DePaula. Lonzo had already spent the entire season wearing Nike shoes rather than his family’s infamously shoddy product.
As DePaula puts it, Big Baller Brand’s run as a footwear brand is over. At least they still have their $60 T-shirts.
More from Yahoo Sports: