LaMelo Ball will soon be lacing up his kicks in the NBA, but he won’t be wearing Big Baller Brand.
The youngest Ball chose to go a different direction than BBB, instead signing a shoe deal with Puma in October. It adds Ball to a burgeoning list of rising stars inked by Puma in recent years, and it means LaMelo has joined his brother Lonzo in going elsewhere rather than re-upping with the family Big Baller Brand started by their father, LaVar.
Here’s more of what you need to know about LaMelo Ball’s decision to sign with Puma.
How much is LaMelo Ball’s Puma shoe contract worth?
LaMelo Ball’s Puma shoe deal is reportedly worth $100 million, according to Gerald Flores of Esquire. Flores also wrote that Ball will have access to the Puma private jet.
Puma’s global director of marketing did discuss the jet with Flores: “Puma does have a jet that we use for many of our players and, of course, he’ll have access to that jet. The value of our contracts sometimes comes down to agents inflating dollars, and that’s okay. It is what it is and it’s part of the culture.”
A number of years for Ball’s contract with Puma hasn’t been reported.
Why did LaMelo Ball sign with Puma and not Big Baller Brand?
It seems like the key words in the statement above are “to just be myself.” Big Baller Brand is the family brand, started in 2016 by the Ball boys’ father, LaVar. It created a lot of hype with some questions about how good the shoes actually were, but with it came less corporation business acumen than any of the major shoe brands would bring.
Puma is on the rise in the basketball shoe space. They’ve recently signed deals with the Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma, Knicks’ R.J. Barrett and Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr. Ball is just the latest rising star to join the Puma shoe team after about two decades mostly out of the basketball arena.
“LaMelo’s physical gifts and dynamic play on the court, as well as his unique sense of personal style, make him a natural fit for Puma,” Puma global director of marketing Adam Petrick said in a statement. “We are thrilled to add him to our roster of talented athletes, and at just 19 years old, we can’t wait to see his impact on the broader culture surrounding basketball.”
Ball had a signature shoe with Big Baller Brand when he was 16. The “MB1” was worn by LaMelo in his time spent playing overseas in Lithuania and New Zealand. But now LaMelo is distancing himself from the potential of more signature shoes in his father’s company and instead choosing to join an established brand. LaMelo’s brother Lonzo also distanced himself from BBB and doesn’t currently have a shoe deal.
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