The Los Angeles Lakers selected UCLA’s Lonzo Ball in this year’s NBA Draft, and the hometown kid already has fans captivated. His pinpoint-accurate passing helped lead the Lakers Summer League team to a championship in Las Vegas a few weeks ago, and Ball took home the MVP award from the tournament.
However, while his play on the court rightly garnered a lot of attention, the brand of shoe he was wearing drew nearly as much interest.
Currently, Ball represents his family’s Big Baller Brand, which launched his own shoe, the ZO2, with a jaw-dropping price tag of $495. After failing to negotiate a deal with major companies like Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour, the Ball family decided to forge their own path, but that was thrown into question when Ball began wearing a different brand’s shoe for each game in Las Vegas.
There are rumors that Lonzo could still sign with a major shoe company, and according to Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated, his Lakers teammate Brandon Ingram isn’t opposed to pitching him towards Adidas:
Although Ingram said that he generally doesn’t talk sneakers with Lonzo, the second-year forward added that he would be happy to pitch his new Lakers teammate on Adidas if the company asked him.
That being said, Ingram made it clear that when he and Ball talk it’s more about basketball and not shoes:
“As kids, we dream of playing in different basketball players’ shoes,” Ingram said of Ball’s sneaker-hopping. “He’s just playing the game smart from the business side and the basketball side. As a pro basketball player, he’s doing what he wants. That’s what he does. Nah, [we don’t talk about shoe brands]. We talk about basketball and how we want to kill the next opponent or just stuff away from basketball. We may get into a conversation about [sneakers] every once in a while but nothing like the fans are talking about.”
In the past, the Ball family, led by father LaVar, has infamously asked for a one-billion dollar deal to sign on with one of the major shoe companies. While that isn’t realistic, it appears that they are at least willing to consider attempting to find a middle ground again.
Of course, regardless of which shoe Ball wears, Lakers fans should be excited that he will be suiting up in purple and gold next season.