Latest posts by Ben Stinar (see all)
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Taurean Prince, a former first-round pick of the Atlanta Hawks out of Baylor, is a lot more than just a basketball player. He’s down-to-earth and treats people in a respectful manner. It’d be hard to know he’s a starter in the NBA making millions of dollars.
As could be seen in his article in The Player’s Tribune last year, he didn’t have much as a child. At one point, not even a home. The upbringing keeps him humble. He stayed loyal to his father even when they had nothing. This would make sense why he is the brand ambassador for the clothing line, “Loyalty Is Everything.”
The brand is owned by 33-year-old Andrew Thomas, better known as “Ace.” He’s helped by Adam Lugo, Josh Santos, and Courtney Cloud who are from Los Angeles, California and run the company Fabric Network. Lugo is is the creative director and Santos is the social media expert a long with the day-to-day labor.
“I met Ace back when I was in college,” Prince told Amico Hoops after a recent game. “We kept our relationship throughout my time in the league.”
Most clothing companies try to be unique, but this one is more than just unique. It’s symbolic. Ace and Prince have a personalized handshake that spells out L.I.E. The brand is a lifestyle.
“It’s kind of like a mind-twist L.I.E. Means loyalty is everything, but the actual word means lie … or spells out lie,” Prince said.
In the mind of Ace, the brand is a lifestyle because the act of loyalty isn’t for everyone. Especially in sports.
“Some people just say it, but then some people really mean it,” Thomas told Amico Hoops about loyalty during a phone interview.
“Our bond was sports, but I felt our bond was bigger than just sports.”
The clothes are currently for sale on their website. They’re stylish, but not overly expensive. Prince has been seen wearing the clothing many times, because he truly believes in the brand.
In addition, some of his teammates have also been seen repping the gear. Prince isn’t just a figure-head either. He has actual input in the company. It’s his vision as well.
“When I mean loyalty I mean just treat everybody right,” Prince said.
While Prince is a huge plus to the brand, he obviously has his day job to worry about. Meanwhile, Ace is trying to turn this into a legitimate brand.
“The goal is to definitely … create a higher end line to L.I.E.,” Ace said. “It will be called ’12:9:5′ which is ‘L’ is the 12th letter of the alphabet, the nine is the ‘I’, and then five is ‘E’ in the alphabet. You know it’s coded.
“The reason why L.I.E. is on the front and then loyalty is on the back is because people who have to run around and keep telling you time and time again, ‘Hey I’m loyal, I’m loyal, I’m loyal,’ nine times out of 10 they’re not.”
Prince is averaging more than 15 points on the season and Ace is excelling with the clothing company. Together they make not only a fantastic team, but a loyal team.