In January, 2023, Kelly Oubre, Jr.’s fashion brand “Dope Soul” filed a lawsuit against former NBA player Patrick Christopher and his fashion brand Sloan and Bennett (collectively, “Defendants”) for breach of contract and fraud, among other claims. Christopher was a two-time first-team all-Pac-10 selection who played 4 total games in the NBA. After Christopher’s playing career ended in 2016, he started the apparel company Sloan and Bennett. The company describes itself as a “luxury brand of outerwear garments.” Per the complaint, Sloan and Bennett has collaborated with prominent NBA players and agents. One such player is Charlotte Hornets’ swingman Kelly Oubre, Jr.
Oubre is a celebrated fashion mogul in the association, consistently drawing the cameras as he walks through stadium tunnels (which now largely serve as runways). Oubre met Patrick Christopher through Oubre’s friend and videographer, who also worked with Christopher’s brother, Houston Rockets 2021 first-round pick Josh Christopher.
Oubre approached Defendant Christopher, inquiring about his ability to manufacture garments for Dope Soul. Christopher assured Oubre and Dope Soul that he had the capability. Per the complaint, the two parties began to work together and Christopher provided Oubre samples of how certain items would look starting in February, 2021. Dope Soul approved of the samples and by March of that year, Christopher began sending invoices for the work.
However, Plaintiff claims that Christopher did not tell Oubre that Sloan and Bennett had been suspended by the California Franchise Tax Board in 2020 and that Sloan and Bennett did not have the capabilities, despite promises to the contrary, to manufacture Oubre’s requested garments. In 2021, Defendants issued six invoices to Plaintiff, totaling $257,506.81. Plaintiff paid them all in full.
Plaintiff’s complaint is summed up as follows, as Christopher never produced the garments after accepting payment:
Defendants did not perform: For months, Defendants dodged Plaintiff and strung Plaintiff along, including by ignoring Plaintiff’s attempts to schedule delivery or pickup of the Dope Soul Inventory, making excuses for why the Dope Soul Inventory could not be delivered or picked up, refusing to provide information necessary to arrange pickup of the Dope Soul Inventory (such as the quantity and weight of the boxes), and demanding that Plaintiff pay a ransom to have the Dope Soul Inventory made available for pick up despite previously claiming that they were in storage. Between February and July 2002, it became apparent the jig was up.
With that, Oubre filed this 7-count complaint against Christopher and Sloan and Bennett in Los Angeles County Court. Oubre is currently represented by Billy Duffy of BDA sports for his professional career and is on the second year of a 2-year, $24,600,000 contract. He is represented by LA law firm King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano, LLP in this legal proceeding.
Jason Morrin is a law clerk (pending admission to the NY Bar) at Zumpano, Patricios & Popok LLP in New York, a firm dedicated to litigation and business counseling including in the areas of sports, gaming and entertainment. He graduated cum laude from Hofstra Law School where he was president of the Sports and Entertainment Law Society. His reporting for Conduct Detrimental has been cited by ESPN, The New York Post, USA Today, Bleacher Report and more.