Lonzo Ball suffered a third ankle injury with the Lakers on Jan. 19, prompting the Lakers to search for the root cause of the UCLA product's injury woes. Los Angeles even went as far as to ask Ball whether his Big Baller Brand sneakers were to blame, according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne and Paula Lavinge.
"Yeah, they talked to me," Lonzo Ball told ESPN. "They asked me about it, and I told 'em, 'I feel comfortable. If I wasn't comfortable, I wouldn't play in 'em. If I didn't play in [his signature BBB shoes], I'd play in Kobe [Bryant's signature Nike shoe]. I work out in [LeBron James' signature Nike shoe], but that's because they're heavier."
Ball cut ties with Big Baller Brand co-founder Alan Foster on Friday. Ball told ESPN that Foster, "used his access to my business and personal finances to enrich himself." The Lakers' point guard also cited Fosters' criminal past and concerns over an unaccounted for $1.5 million, per ESPN.
Los Angeles shut down Ball for the season on March 9. The 2017 No. 2 pick tallied 9.9 points and 5.4 assists per game in 2018-19, shooting 32.9% from three.
The Lakers are 11th in the West at 31–41. They were eliminated from playoff contention in a 111-106 loss to the Nets on Friday.