Potential No. 1 NBA Draft pick LaMelo Ball just inked an endorsement deal with Puma Basketball, making him the first of the three Ball brothers to join an athletic sponsor outside of the Big Baller Brand circle.
The 19-year-old point guard made the announcement via an illusionary Instagram video stamped with the tagline, “Not From Here.”
“Puma was a good fit because they tie basketball, music, and fashion so well together and will allow me to really bring my creative vision to life,” Ball told Complex. “I don’t want to give too much away, but big things are coming. It’s been fun working with the Puma Hoops design team and I’ll just leave it at that.”
The German sportswear brand has been stacking its basketball roster with young talent since making a surprise comeback in 2018 after 20 seasons away from the NBA sphere.
Players like the Suns’ Deandre Ayton, the No. 1 overall draft selection in 2018; the Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma, a new NBA champion; and the Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr., a standout rookie from the NBA bubble, call Puma home.
Like Ball mentioned, Puma Hoops is making a point to align itself with hip-hop, naming JAY-Z as a creative consultant and then collaborating with the likes of J. Cole on the colorful RS-Dreamer sneaker, which Ball chose to rock for his first photo shoot.
“Puma’s been making waves since their comeback to basketball, not just on the court but for the culture,” Ball added. “They’re doing big things and are the new wave of hoops.”
While Melo had his own $395 Big Baller shoe, the MB1, circa 2017, he followed the advice given to him by his big bro, Lonzo Ball: “Take every meeting and whoever wants you the most, go with them.”
As for whether he’ll be getting a signature Puma style, he claimed, “I guess you’ll have to wait and see.”