LaMelo Ball is the face of Puma, a dominant brand in basketball more than 20 years ago. Puma returned to the sport in 2018, making their biggest signing to date two years ago. The brand's head of design for basketball revealed why they chose the Charlotte Hornets star to bring them back to prominence.
In an interview with Nick DePaula of Andscape, Jeremy Sallee explained why Ball was the right player for Puma.
"He's Melo, that's for sure," Sallee said. "He is who he thinks he is. He's one of one, rare, not from here. He's got his own sense of style and he doesn't care what's going on trend-wise. He's gonna do what he wants to do, with supreme confidence.
"That’s the gift with Melo. He's supremely confident with what he wears, how he plays and who he is."
LaMelo Ball already has two signature shoes with Puma. The MB.01 was released last year and exceeded expectations in terms of sales. Drew Haines of StockX noted that Ball's shoes are among the most popular in the market today.
Puma's basketball shoes have also become the second-fastest growing brand on StockX since the MB.01 hit the market. Ball's MB.02 was released last month and Puma expects it to surpass its predecessor.
To read Nick DePaula's entire piece on LaMelo Ball and Puma, click here.
LaMelo Ball's deal with Puma
Puma started their basketball rebirth in 2018 by signing Marvin Bagley III and Deandre Ayton. They added RJ Barrett in 2019 before bringing in LaMelo the next year.
According to Gerald Flores of Esquire, Ball's deal with Puma is worth around $100 million. He also has access to the company's private jet, which he used in the offseason to attend the Summer League.
"I am really excited to be joining the Puma family," Ball said. "I believe the brand is the perfect partner for me because Puma will allow me to just be myself. I want to be 100% authentic whether that's playing basketball or showing off my personal style and that's what I want to do with Puma."
The youngest Ball brother followed in the footsteps of brother Lonzo, who left their father LaVar's Big Baller Brand to join Nike.
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LaMelo Ball struggling with injuries this season
LaMelo has only played three games for the Charlotte Hornets this season. Ball missed the first 13 games of the season with a Grade 2 left ankle sprain. He suffered the injury after stepping on Anthony Gill's foot in a preseason game against the Washington Wizards on Oct. 10.
Ball returned on Nov. 12 against the Miami Heat, but re-injured his left ankle on Nov. 16 against the Indiana Pacers. He accidentally stepped on a fan's foot while trying to chase the ball down. The injury happened towards the end of the game. He's on the road to recovery already, but missed the Hornets' last three games.
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