If the Ball family had a nickel for every time the NBA made them cover up a tattoo because it contained a logo of their own business, they would have two nickels.
Which isn’t a lot, but it would still probably be more profitable than Big Baller Brand.
History repeated on Tuesday when Charlotte Hornets star LaMelo Ball took the floor with a curious accessory. Three months after debuting a neck tattoo with the logo of his “LaFrance” clothing line, observers noticed Ball was playing with a covering over that same tattoo.
It was quickly inferred the NBA had requested he cover up what it considered a commercial logo.
It looks like LaMelo Ball might have been told by the NBA to cover up his new tattoo.
The “LF” tattoo is also the logo for Ball’s clothing brand “LaFrancé” pic.twitter.com/YPz2V5qcux
— James Plowright (@British_Buzz) November 15, 2023
If this all sounds familiar, it’s because the exact same thing happened to LaMelo’s older brother Lonzo in 2018.
At that time, the elder Ball added the logo of Big Baller Brand to his forearm and was later requested by the NBA to cover up the tattoo. Ball obliged, and eventually had the tattoo covered up for good with new ink after Big Baller Brand’s business went further south.
J.R. Smith saw similar results that year with a tattoo of the Supreme logo, with a league official explaining “NBA rules prohibit players from displaying any commercial logos or corporate insignia on their body or in their hair.” Barring a revelation from LaMelo, it appears the NBA hasn’t changed its mind on the matter of what players are and aren’t allowed to tattoo on their bodies.
As for Big Baller Brand, the brainchild of family patriarch LaVar Ball remains in the news, but not for the best reasons. The family was sued for more than $200 million this year by former business partner Alan Foster, a convicted fraudster previously involved with the company whom the Balls cut ties with in 2019.
Despite all those headwinds, like when Foster took over the company site, Big Baller Brand appears to remain operational. In fact, you can still buy a gorilla-themed sweatsuit from their website for the cool price of $300.