Lonzo Ball Leaves JAY-Z's Roc Nation to Sign With Klutch Sports

Dylan Henson

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INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - FEBRUARY 08: Lonzo Ball #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans dribbles the ball against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on February 08, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Lonzo Ball is taking what he calls "step one" in charting his own career path by signing with Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, per ESPN.

Paul represents several high-profile hoopers, including LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Ben Simmons. Previously, Ball was a client of JAY-Z's Roc Nation group.

"I wanted to lead my career," he told ESPN. "Picking my own representation – just solely as my decision – was step one in that process. For me, it was an easy call, and it was the right time to make that call."

His pops, LaVar Ball, who has been a prominent voice influencing his oldest son's business decisions ever since he entered the NBA as the Los Angeles Lakers' second overall draft pick in 2017, embraced this latest move made without his counsel, saying Lonzo has "always been his own man."

"As a father, all I can do is guide him," LaVar said. "I'm not going to take a lesser role. I am going to be his father, and that's it."

Speaking on the evolution of their relationship, Lonzo revealed the two "had a couple rumblings here and there, but everything got squared away." He continued, "My dad put me in a position where I am comfortable making my own decisions now.

"I think coming into the league, he was very controlling of everything that was going on. But that was an 18-, 19-year-old kid. But now I am 22 years old with my own family. Seeing how he watched over me and stuff – it was time for him to finally let go of everything and watch me be my own man."

Coming off a relatively disappointing showing in the NBA bubble where his Pelicans went 2-6 and missed the playoffs, the 22-year-old believes he can earn Most Improved Player honors next year like his teammate Brandon Ingram did this season.

It may not be long before Lonzo's little brother LaMelo Ball is a member of the Klutch Sports family as well. He's projected to be a top-five selection in the October draft.

"All the failures and negative stuff that I've been through, he's already seen it and already knows about it," Lonzo said of LaMelo's position entering the league. "He knows the answers to the test before he even went into the class."