LaMelo Ball forgoes family’s Big Baller Brand, signs with with Puma

Distancing himself from his family-founded Big Baller Brand, LaMelo Ball on Wednesday signed a multiyear shoe deal with Puma — where he'll be one of the brand's main faces at age 19.

The shoe is set to launch on Nov. 18, the day of the NBA draft, where Ball is expected to be a top-five pick and potential No. 1. 

"I am really excited to be joining the Puma family," Ball said in a statement, per ESPN. "I believe the brand is the perfect partner for me because Puma will allow me to just be myself. I want to be 100 percent authentic, whether that's playing basketball or showing off my personal style, and that's what I want to do with Puma."

LaMelo Ball is expected to be a top-five pick and potential No. 1 in the NBA draft. (Photo: Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports)

At 16, Ball had his own shoe with Big Baller Brand, the company his father LaVar founded after the success of Lonzo Ball launched the family into superstardom. LaMelo's shoe, "MB1" was launched before the teenager played professionally in Lithuania and New Zealand. 

Lonzo Ball has yet to sign with a sneaker company, although his former teammate Kyle Kuzma also signed with Puma, which revitalized its presence in the basketball shoe realm in 2018 after a nearly two decade-long hiatus. New York Knicks' RJ Barrett and Denver Nuggets wing Michael Porter Jr. are also associated with Puma. 

Ball played for 12 games in Australia to vault into the No. 1 pick equation last fall. The 6-foot-7 point guard's passing ability, court vision and pull-up jumper offer intrigue to lottery teams. 

"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, per ESPN. "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."

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