Highly-touted NBA Draft prospect and soon-to-be lottery pick LaMelo Ball is Puma Basketball’s newest ambassador. Originally rumored back in August, the deal was announced this morning via the 19-year old point guard’s Instagram page. He becomes the first Ball brother to sign an endorsement deal outside of Big Baller Brand.
"Puma's been making waves since their comeback to basketball, not just on the court but for the culture," Ball says via e-mail. "They're doing big things and are the new wave of hoops."
Ball becomes the newest signee to a growing Puma roster that was revived prior to the 2018 NBA Draft. This includes an impressive young crop of players such as 2018 number-one overall pick Deandre Ayton, newly minted NBA champion Kyle Kuzma, and Orlando bubble standout Michael Porter Jr.
The brand's hoops division has also been able to further its presence in hip-hop, a move that was kickstarted by the appointment of JAY-Z as a creative consultant upon relaunch, and has since grown to include popular acts like J. Cole. The latter even has his own signature shoe, the RS-Dreamer, which debuted with the help of hip-hop mogul Master P this past July and was worn by Ball in his first official photoshoot with the brand.
"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," says Ball. "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."
As some may remember, this isn't Ball's first shoe deal. He originally released his own sneaker, the MB1, back in 2017 under his family's infamous Big Baller Brand imprint alongside his older brothers LiAngelo and Lonzo. When asked about the possibility of a similar situation in the cards with Puma, LaMelo provides a cryptic response.
"I guess you’ll have to wait and see."
When it comes to which city he hopes to suiting up for next season, the young point guard keeps similar energy. While plenty of fanbases are anticipating the possibility of a new rookie point guard, LaMelo says he just wants to hoop, no matter where it is.
"I've just been working out and getting ready for the next step in my career," he says. "I'll be excited to play for any city. It’s been my dream my whole life to play in the NBA and I'm just excited it's getting close."