Hornets star LaMelo Ball Nov 10, 2023; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (1) walks top the court during the first half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Charlotte Hornets star LaMelo Ball is one of the most recognizable stars in the NBA. Unfortunately, he will need to change one part of his appearance after an NBA ruling on Friday.

Ball has the initials “LF” tattooed right below his left ear, which is short for his middle name LaFrance. He then decided to use that name for his clothing brand.

According to ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA has ruled that this goes against league policy that bars players from exposing commercial logos on their bodies.

Wojnarowski added that Ball has had conversations over the past several weeks regarding the tattoo, to no success. He has been covering up the tattoo since Tuesday’s game against the Miami Heat and is expected to continue to cover it up for Friday night’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

NBA spokesman Tim Frank issued a statement to ESPN on the matter, saying that the league “tries to enforce the rule reasonably”, but Ball’s tattoo is viewed as an “obvious violation”.

“Per the [collective bargaining agreement], players are prohibited from displaying commercial logos or corporate insignia on their body or in their hair during games. We try to enforce the rule reasonably, in accordance with its purpose, and taking into account players’ efforts to express themselves in a non-commercial manner. But LaMelo Ball’s neck tattoo is in obvious violation of the rule and, accordingly, he’s required to cover it.”

Considering the tattoo seemingly has some meaning to him as it is the initials for his middle name, fans clearly believe that the NBA should make an exception to the rule in this case.

If anything, this decision coming from the NBA will likely make Ball’s clothing brand even more popular.

LaMelo Ball isn’t the only member of his talented family to have this happen to him. The league also required Lonzo Ball to cover a “Big Baller Brand” tattoo in 2018.


About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.