Lakers' Ball and agent Gaines agree to part ways

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Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball and his agent, Harrison Gaines, have mutually agreed to part ways.

"Harrison Gaines has been a trusted advisor and close friend for many years," Ball told ESPN in a statement. "He guided my NBA career with integrity and always had my best interests at heart."

Although the announcement comes two weeks after Ball severed ties with and sued former Big Baller Brand co-founder Alan Foster for damages of at least $2 million, Ball insisted Gaines supported him through that situation and that this decision was unrelated.

"Harrison has always had my back and although we will no longer be working together after mutually deciding to part ways; our relationship will always be bigger than basketball," Ball said in the statement.

Gaines had been Ball's agent since Ball left UCLA after his freshman season. Ball was Gaines' first client, but unlike many others hired by Lonzo's father, LaVar Ball, Gaines was never a part of Big Baller Brand. Instead, he founded his own agency, SLASH Sports, with which he represents former NBA prospect Xavier Thames and former NBA players Jamaal Franklin, Isaiah Austin, Jabari Brown. He also represents Yale's Miye Oni, whom ESPN's Jonathan Givony ranks as No. 53 among ESPN's top 100 prospects for this summer's draft.

"Lonzo Ball was the first client to sign with me. He has been nothing short of phenomenal and is one of the bright young NBA Stars. I thank him and his family for giving me an opportunity," Gaines told ESPN in a statement. "Mutually, we have decided to part ways. I wish Lonzo great success in the future. As I turn this page, I will continue to work hard for all of my clients."