Lakers’ Lonzo Ball to make own business decisions, starting with new agent
Having parted ways with his agent, Lonzo Ball is searching for a new one.
Creative Artists Agency has emerged as a front-runner to represent Ball, but he and his team are evaluating prospective agents, according to people familiar with the process.
While word is spreading around the agencies that LaVar Ball is driving the search, Lonzo Ball told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday night that he alone will make his business decisions. Asked specifically if his father was involved, Lonzo Ball said no.
A person familiar with the situation said LaVar Ball has not participated in any official discussions about his son’s future business dealings as Lonzo Ball’s team of attorneys and advisors determines how to remove him from the orbit of Alan Foster, a man who they allege stole millions from him and mismanaged his finances.
On Tuesday, Lonzo and Big Baller Brand, a company Lonzo Ball owns 51% of, sued Foster and are asking for damages of more than $2 million. LaVar’s name did not appear anywhere on the complaint.
The lawsuit alleges that Foster made withdrawals of more than $1.5 million that remain unaccounted for and used ill-gotten funds to make purchases in Ethiopia as a way to hide the money. It also said Lonzo Ball, as the majority owner of Big Baller Brand, had removed Foster as a manager of the company.
Lonzo Ball announced two weeks ago that he would sever all ties with Foster, who was once LaVar’s best friend and owned 16.3% of Big Baller Brand. Ball said in a statement that he planned to empower his financial manager, Humble Lukanga, his manager, Darren Moore, and his agent, Harrison Gaines, to take a more active role in his career going forward.
Ball and Gaines, though, decided recently to part ways. Gaines represented Ball when he entered the NBA and was eventually tasked with representing his brothers, LiAngelo and LaMelo. LaMelo, 17, has been a student at Spire Academy, which is based in Cleveland.
Gaines is the founder and CEO of Slash Sports and Entertainment, which represents several professional basketball players. Gaines’ clients include Sparks point guard Odyssey Sims; Jabari Brown, who spent time with the Lakers during the 2014-15 season; Jamaal Franklin and Isaiah Austin, who play in China; Xavier Thames, who plays in Hungary and Yale guard Miye Oni, who has entered the NBA draft.
According to NBPA rules, Ball must wait 15 days from the time he officially parted with Gaines before signing with another agent.
Follow Tania Ganguli on Twitter @taniaganguli
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