LaVar Ball Blames Puma’s “Raggedy Shoes” For LaMelo Ball’s Injury Woes


LaVar Ball, the outspoken father of NBA stars Lonzo and LaMelo Ball, has once again made headlines with his candid remarks. In a recent interview with CBS Sports’ Bill Reiter, LaVar pointed the finger at Puma’s footwear as a major factor behind his sons’ injury struggles.


“They’ve been trained hard enough? No, no, no,” he says. “Because you condition your body for running and jumping. You’ve got to condition your legs. So that’s why I always have my boys in them hills and running hard in them hills. That will make you run like a deer when you get on that court, so you won’t be getting hurt. A lot of things have to do with them raggedy shoes that Melo be wearing. Them shoes are not made the right way for him. That’s why he keeps tweaking his ankle every single time.”

Lonzo Ball, the older of the Ball brothers, has faced a string of knee injuries. His last NBA appearance was on January 14, 2022, and since then, he has undergone three separate knee surgeries, including a cartilage transplant. LaVar attributes Lonzo’s woes to a shift away from the rigorous training regimen he had implemented for his sons. According to LaVar, the NBA training staffs stopped pushing Lonzo hard enough, leading to his physical breakdown.

LaMelo Ball, the rising star for the Charlotte Hornets, has also battled injuries. His most recent setback—a season-ending ankle injury—marks the third time in four NBA campaigns that he has been sidelined. LaVar doesn’t mince words when it comes to Puma’s role in LaMelo’s woes. He claims that the signature shoes worn by LaMelo are “not made the right way for him.” LaVar believes that the design flaws in LaMelo’s Puma shoes contribute to his chronic ankle problems.

LaMelo, after being selected as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, signed a lucrative signature shoe deal with Puma reportedly worth $100 million. His shoe line includes the MB.01, MB.02, and the recently released MB.03. While Puma’s return to the performance basketball market has been successful, LaVar insists that LaMelo’s ankle issues stem from the design of these shoes.

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