Yesterday Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball had an outstanding performance in the Lakers’ 103-102 Summer League win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Much of the conversation after the game, however, was about the shoes Ball was wearing.
Instead of wearing his signature ZO2 sneakers from the Big Baller Brand started by his father LaVar Ball, Lonzo instead wore a pair Nikes. More specifically Ball had a pair of purple Kobe ADs.
Afterward, Lonzo explained that he wanted to get that ‘Mamba Mentality’ and said that with Big Baller Brand he can wear whatever shoes he feels like. His father LaVar echoed that sentiment, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell:
“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 Ball told ESPN by text early Thursday morning. “This is what being independent is all about.”
LaVar is correct in that being independent allows Lonzo to wear whatever shoes he feels like wearing. Obviously, Lonzo isn’t actually under contract with Big Baller Brand, so there is nothing preventing him from wearing whatever he feels like.
However, with such a big deal being made about the launch of the ZO2 shoes, as well as the $495 price tag, many are going to question Lonzo and the shoes themselves anytime he doesn’t wear them. This is particularly the case when Lonzo puts on a show like the one he did last night.
With players like LeBron James and Ben Simmons speaking about Ball’s footwear, it basically came off as a recruitment effort to get Ball to sign with Nike. While that doesn’t seem to be in the cards, the Lakers will be looking for Ball to keep up his level of play regardless of the shoes he is wearing.