LaVar Ball Blames LaMelo’s ‘Raggedy’ Puma Shoes for Repeating Ankle Injuries

LaVar Ball doesn’t make nearly as much noise as he once did at the height of his reign as basketball’s most omnipresent dad, but comments made Wednesday about his most successful son’s chief sponsor are likely to echo far.

In an interview with CBS News, the Ball patriarch blamed LaMelo Ball’s footwear for recurring ankle injuries. LaMelo’s season came to an end early last week for the second year in a row because of issues with his ankle. Although LaVar didn’t call out Puma by name, the effect still remains the same.

More from Footwear News

“A lot of things have to do with them raggedy shoes that Melo be wearing,” LaVar said. “Them shoes are not made the right way for him. That’s why he keeps tweaking his ankle every single time.”

22-year-old LaMelo is currently on the third shoe of his signature line for Puma, the MB.03. The franchise has been a hit for Puma in its recent return to the performance basketball market, particularly among young people. In 2023, StockX reported the MB.02 as the third most-traded contemporary basketball shoe on its platform, behind only the Nike Ja 1 and Nike LeBron 20.

In a recent FN story on the shift toward Gen Z in the signature sneaker market, Puma vice president of marketing for North America Allison Giorgio said: “We’re very lucky to work with [Ball]. He’s an incredibly powerful player for Gen Z, mostly because he’s got this dynamic play on-court and a unique sense of personal style and leverage of fashion off-court.”

LaVar, co-founder of the on-and-off-again Big Baller Brand that once counted his three sons as its chief endorsers, doesn’t seem to think that that luck is so reciprocal, though, as he breaks a long streak without making comments with the potential to compromise one of his sons.

About the Author:

Ian Servantes is a Senior Trending News Editor for Footwear News specializing in sneaker coverage. He’s previously reported on streetwear and sneakers at Input and Highsnobiety after beginning his career on the pop culture beat. He subscribes to the idea that “ball is life” and doesn’t fuss over his kicks getting dirty.

Best of Footwear News

Sign up for FN's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.