Tattoos are commonplace among NBA players in today’s era. However, an unusual situation has arisen between LaMelo Ball and the NBA due to a small tattoo located beneath his left ear.
The NBA informed Ball that he must conceal the tattoo as it violates a regulation prohibiting the display of commercial logos on a player’s body, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The tattoo features the initials “LF,” representing LaMelo’s middle name, LaFrance. Nevertheless, this also happens to be the name of Ball’s new apparel brand, prompting the NBA to categorize it as a commercial logo.
To avoid fines, Ball began covering the tattoo during games starting last Tuesday. His representatives have been in communication with the NBA to find a potential resolution, asserting that the rule has been inconsistently enforced. NBA spokesperson Tim Frank countered, stating that the tattoo is “in obvious violation of the rule.”
Ball contends that the tattoo symbolizes his initials, and he had them on display long before they became associated with a brand. He also points out instances where previous players had what could be considered corporate logos on their bodies, but the NBA argues that those players lacked endorsement deals with the companies in question.
As the issue persists, Ball will continue to cover the tattoo. Meanwhile, he is also contending with a legal dispute from a former family friend, adding to the off-court challenges he currently faces.
The prevailing sentiment is that LaMelo should concentrate on his game, trusting that resolution will come to the other matters in due course.