The evolving legal situation between Lonzo Ball and Big Baller Brand co-founder Alan Foster took it’s latest (public) turn on Wednesday night, as Tania Ganguli and Richard Winton of The Los Angeles Times are reporting that the FBI is investigating whether Foster did or did not defraud Ball and his family of millions of dollars.
That will obviously be an incredibly complicated and important legal situation for the Ball family, but tucked away in Ganguli and Winton’s report was one more interesting little tidbit that is more directly relevant to the Lakers — that it was Foster who was the one who convinced Ball to only workout for his hometown team:
Foster also encouraged Lonzo to refuse to workout for any team other than the Lakers, according to a person familiar with their communications.
Now, I know what you might be asking: Ball is already on the team, so why does this matter?
Well, the main reason is that it follows a pattern of someone or some people (almost assuredly Ball’s camp) blaming Foster for basically anything that didn’t go over well with fans, teams, the media at large or some combination of all three.
It started with reports that it was Foster who convinced Ball to sign with Big Baller Brand instead of a more established shoe brand, and then that it was Foster who talked Ball into getting surgery that the Lakers had to threaten to void his contract to stop him from getting. Do you see a pattern?
Read charitably, all of these bad decisions being dumped at Foster’s feet would be great news for the Lakers, as now that Ball has cut him out he’ll be well on his way to a solid, well-managed career moving forward. Read pessimistically, this is pinning all of their bad decisions on someone they’re removing from the equation anyway to avoid accountability.
I’ll be honest and say that I don’t know where the truth lies, and it could be somewhere in the middle of the two scenarios above. All we know for sure is that Lakers fans — and anyone who wants Ball to do well — should be hoping it’s the former.