LaMelo Ball, known for his unique style on and off the court, has once again caught the attention of fans and internet sleuths. During a recent game against the Miami Heat, Ball was seen sporting a band-aid on the left side of his neck, strategically placed above one of his newest tattoos. The tattoo features the logo of his lifestyle brand, LaFrance, which he launched over three years ago.
The placement of the band-aid raised questions among fans. Was it a mere coincidence or was there a specific reason behind Ball's decision to cover up his brand's logo? According to NBA rules and previous incidents involving players and their tattoos, it seems likely that the league enforced the cover-up.
The NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement includes rules on uniforms and prohibits players from displaying any brand logos outside of their jerseys and sneakers. While Ball's "LaFrance" logo represents his personal brand, it does not comply with the league's uniform requirements.
The rule from the NBA's uniform policy states that players are not allowed to display any commercial, promotional, or charitable names, logos, or other identifications, including on their bodies, in their hair, or elsewhere during games. This rule has been enforced in the past, such as when Ball's older brother, Lonzo, had to cover up his tattoo of the Big Baller Brand logo with a band-aid. Similarly, J.R. Smith was threatened with a fine unless he covered a tattoo of the streetwear brand Supreme.
This is not the first time that the NBA has addressed players' tattoos. In a previous incident, Iman Shumpert had the Adidas logo cut into the back of his signature high-top fade. However, after a conversation with the league, Shumpert had the logo shaved off and left as an empty triangle.
Given this history, it appears that the league is not singling out LaMelo Ball with this rule enforcement. The NBA has consistently enforced the rule regarding players' tattoos and their compliance with uniform regulations.
LaFrance, the lifestyle brand launched by Ball, offers a range of clothing items and accessories. The brand, which has collaborated with Ball's sneaker partner, Puma, sells products like T-shirts, shorts, sweatsuits, hats, and various accessories. Its name is inspired by Ball's full name, LaMelo LaFrance Ball.
While Ball continues to express himself through his fashion choices on the court, it is evident that he must adhere to the NBA's regulations regarding branding and promotional logos. The band-aid covering his LaFrance tattoo serves as a reminder that, even for a player known for his unique style, there are rules to be followed.