It’s official. LaMelo Ball is a member of Puma’s basketball family. The two sides had been connected in the rumor mill since August, but they were still in the negotiation stage.
This time, things are for real. With this news, LaMelo becomes the first member of the Ball family to officially sign a shoe deal outside of Big Baller Brand.
Ball and Puma both announced the partnership on Twitter Wednesday morning. They unveiled a new commercial with Ball as well as what seems to be his new tag line with Puma for the foreseeable future: “Not from here.”
In the video, he shoots a step back jumper and somehow teleports to grab his own rebound.
They’re implying that he’s a basketball alien from out of this world, which is made even more clear when you look at the backdrop for this promotional shoot.
They already have some LaMelo merch popping too, per ESPN’s Nick DePaula.
This is great move for Ball. Puma is the perfect landing spot to carry on the foundation he built at Big Baller Brand.
He’ll be a priority for Puma. Ball is going to be the feature for Puma’s basketball roster from day one. He wasn’t finding that anywhere else. Nike has LeBron James and a bunch of All-Stars. Adidas? James Harden, Damian Lillard and Donovan Mitchell. New Balance? Kawhi Leonard. Even Under Armour has Stephen Curry and Joel Embiid.
Puma’s most notable basketball player at this moment might be Deandre Ayton. And he’s good! Don’t get it twisted. But he’s not among those names mentioned above. LaMelo Ball, right now, is the closest thing Puma has to a star and he hasn’t played a minute yet.
He’s already got a massive following from his work with Big Baller Brand and what the Ball family built through different media partnerships with Facebook. That’s not something they’ll have to worry about.
It’s unclear if Ball will have a signature shoe with Puma. On that, he told Complex “I guess you’ll have to wait and see.” It sounds like it’s probably something he’ll have to play his way into at this point.
But he’s got the audience. He’s got the talent. The only thing he has to do now is make sure everything works out on the basketball court. If he does that? Things with Puma will take care of themselves.