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Lonzo further distances himself from BBB, says LaMelo will have choice

Cassy Athena / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Weeks after saying he had to change his Big Baller Brand ZO2 sneakers during every quarter of summer league in 2017 because they kept breaking, Lonzo Ball has further distanced himself from his father LaVar's apparel brand.

"What makes it easier is I'm controlling everything now," Ball told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on "The Woj Pod." "You really can't tell me what to do. It's my life, my career. I'm making all the decisions now. I chose to go to (Creative Artists Agency). I think me becoming my own man is going to make it easier, honestly."

The freshly-minted New Orleans Pelicans point guard says that doesn't mean he's had a falling out with his father.

"I'm growing up. He has his ways, I have mine. We just got into it," Ball said of a tense exchange on the "Ball in the Family" Facebook show. "That's what fathers and sons do as time goes on. At the end of the day, it's always love at the end. I know he loves me, I love him."

Ball hasn't signed a new shoe deal with another brand, but he said that his younger brother LaMelo - currently projected as a top-5 pick in next June's NBA draft - will be able to play the endorsement market unlike he was able to.

"He gets to go through the real, actual process," Ball said of his brother, currently playing in Australia. "When I was coming out, we were just working on my shoe, Big Baller Brand, that's just what it was. I didn't take any meetings. It was already kind of set for me."

It's been suggested that Lonzo cost himself upwards of $10 million by not signing with a major apparel maker coming out of UCLA in 2017.

"I tell him all the time, this is going to be your decision," he said of LaMelo. "Go talk to Adidas. Go talk to Nike. Go talk to Puma. Go talk to everybody. Take every meeting. Whoever wants you the most, go with them. I told him, make sure you take control of your career now. Don't wait like I did."

Ball enters his first year in New Orleans coming off a severe ankle sprain that knocked him out of the Los Angeles Lakers' last 35 games in 2018-19.

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