The NBA won’t fine Charlotte Hornets star LaMelo Ball for failing to cover up a tattoo below his left ear that the league previously deemed in violation of the rules, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The NBA instructed Ball in November to cover the tattoo due to a regulation prohibiting players from sporting visible commercial logos on their bodies.

The 22-year-old’s ‘LF’ tattoo represents his middle name, “LaFrance,” which is also the name of his clothing brand. Ball can play with the initials distinguishable for the time being, Wojnarowski adds.


The league’s rulebook says, “A player may not, during any NBA game, display any commercial, promotional, or charitable name, mark, logo, or other identification, including, but not limited to, on his uniform, on his body, in his hair, or otherwise,” according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

The NBA also told LaMelo’s brother, Lonzo, to hide his “Big Baller Brand” tattoo on his arm in 2018 while with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Ball returned to action Friday against the San Antonio Spurs after missing 20 games because of a sprained ankle.