The NBA is admitting it’s forcing LaMelo Ballto cover up his new neck tattoo … claiming the Charlotte Hornets star’s ink is violating league policy.
The 22-year-old got the “LF” put just below his left ear back in September … to represent his middle name as well as his LaFrancé clothing line.
But, recently, he’s covered it up with a bandage … and on Friday, NBA spokesman Tim Frank said in a statement to ESPN it’s because “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,” Frank added. “But LaMelo Ball’s neck tattoo is in obvious violation of the rule and, accordingly, he’s required to cover it.”
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Ball has been fighting the ruling … and is still in talks with the league about coming up with an alternative solution.
The scenario is similar to one Ball’s older brother, Lonzo Ball, had to deal with back in 2018 … when the league made him cover up a “Big Baller Brand” tattoo he had gotten on his arm.
Fortunately for Melo, he just signed a $260 million extension with Charlotte in July … so he’s got plenty of money to get creative with fixes if the NBA won’t budge.