Lonzo Ball’s shoes have become a hot topic around the NBA lately. As the main endorser of the Ball family’s Big Baller Brand, the 19-year-old rookie was expected to lace up his BBB ZO2’s by default, which he did in his first two games as a Laker. Despite a lackluster first game in which he scored just five points on 2-for-15 shooting, Ball redeemed himself in his next game with a triple double performance (11 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists). So far, so good.
Amid back and forth talks among NBA fans speculating on whether Lonzo Ball is going to turn up a bust, the Los Angeles Lakers’ 2017 second overall draft pick shut down his doubters once again in his third game by scoring 36 points, dishing 11 assists, and pulling down eight rebounds against the Sixers. Interestingly, Ball didn’t wear his BBB shoes in that game, wearing Nike’s Kobe A.D.s instead. On a side note, Lebron James took to Instagram to post a clip zooming in on Lonzo Ball’s Nike shoes, captioning it with the words “Just. Do. It.”
Was James trying to recruit Ball to Nike? Well, not so fast, because Lonzo laced up James Harden’s Adidas shoes Thursday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers, a game in which he put up another incredible triple double performance with a 16 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds stat line.
After three consecutive stellar performances in the Summer League games, there’s little doubt that Ball is the real deal. Is it the shoes? Well, Hector Diaz of SB Nation played around with that idea in his SB Nation piece on Lonzo Ball’s Summer League performances and the shoes he’s worn.
So what’s the deal with Lonzo Ball’s shoes roulette in his last few games? Is he ditching Big Baller Brand for another shoe deal with Nike or Adidas? As previously reported by Sports Illustrated, Lonzo’s father, LaVar, told sportswriter Darren Rovell in a text message that there are “no negotiations with Nike” at the present time.
LaVar did attempt to talk Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas into licensing Big Baller Brand, but all shoe brands said no.
When LaVar was asked why Lonzo didn’t wear the family footwear brand in his last few games, he told ESPN that his son can play basketball in any shoe he chooses, explaining that it’s what “being independent is all about.”
“Lonzo is not forced to wear any brand and can play in any shoe he wants as long as it’s OK with the NBA,” LaVar said. “This is what being independent is all about.”
The Ball family is presently selling Lonzo Ball’s signature shoe, the ZO2, for $495. Currently, the Balls are taking pre-orders but the shoes won’t be shipped to customers until late November.
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]