Lonzo Ball is shut down for the season after it became obvious the Lakers won't make the playoffs so he could nurture his ankle injury. This was Lonzo's third ankle sprain, and it is not an injury you want to play around with. Once they start, the sprains never seem to end. Sadly, this isn't Lonzo's biggest problem right now.
When he started having knee and ankle injuries, many pointed out to the Big Baller Brand shoes and the questionable quality of the brand. His father famously rejected multi-million dollar contracts from Nike and Adidas to launch a line revolving around the three Ball brothers. Alongside the crazy idea to compete with the industry giants, many questioned will the shoes be good enough to play in? While we are not sure if they are preserving his knees and ankles, we now know they are not good for business or the Ball family.
It all started a few weeks ago when ESPN asked Lonzo did he know that Alan Foster, a family friend since 2010 who has effectively been running the BBB company, has a criminal record involving mail fraud and money laundering. Lonzo responded he did not. This set things in motion culminating in Lonzo stating the 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."
It appears Foster used his position in the company and transferred $1.5 million to a shell company for his benefit. Lonzo's financial adviser, humble Lukanga, noticed the discrepancy in the financial books and alerted Lonzo and LaVar this fall. Lonzo deferred to his father who was in Europe with his two younger brothers, so he set the email to the side. An email with the subject line "Urgent - $1.5 million Dollars Missing."
It would appear the ESPN question got Lonzo to investigate more into the matter and two weeks after that, Lonzo took control, cut all ties with Foster and decided not to rely on his father on making business decisions.
While further investigations take place, is it imperative for Lonzo to get his ankles and finances in order. This is a very serious matter not just because there is a lot of money involved but because it involves a close family friend described as " a mentor, a father figure" and Lonzo's actual father. Such a breach of trust can leave a mark on anyone.
A cruel reminder sometimes healthy players have bad weeks/months for reasons we know nothing about.
Reporting by ESPN has been used to write this story