Lonzo Ball has been in the news for his play on the court but the brand of shoes he’s worn is stealing the headlines. After playing in his second straight game without wearing his own signature shoe, Ball may be pitting major shoe companies against each other to strike a deal.
Everyone knows that Lonzo Ball has his own signature shoe, but not by Nike, Adidas or Under Armour, the three major NBA shoe brands. Instead, Lonzo’s signature shoe is made by his family company, the Big Baller Brand.
In Lonzo’s Summer League debut for the Los Angeles Lakers, he wore his signature shoe, the Z02, but had a less than impressive performance. He scored only five points, with five assists, and four rebounds. In his second game, also rocking the Z02s, Ball posted a modest triple-double of 11 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds.
But what truly took people by storm was his breakout game against the Philadelphia 76ers where Zo posted a double-double going off for 36 points, with 11 assists and eight rebounds. The best part about Lonzo’s performance was his aggressiveness and his ability to take over the game leading his team to a clutch 103-102 victory over the Sixers. But Lonzo wasn’t wearing his Big Baller Brand shoes against Philly. Instead, he chose to channel his “Mamba mentality” and rocked the Nike Kobe A.D.s.
After the game, the media, fans, and even other NBA players like LeBron James took to social media to point out that Ball had his best game of Summer League in a pair of Nikes. And although it seemed like the Kobe’s Lonzo had on made a difference in his performance, Ball had already posted a triple-double a game before in the Z02s.
But if people needed convincing that Lonzo’s game isn’t attached to his shoes, he came out against the Cleveland Cavaliers and led his team to a second straight victory behind a triple-double of 16 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. And he wasn’t wearing Kobe’s or any other Nikes for that matter. This time Ball had on the Harden LS Primeknits by Adidas.
Tough finish from Lonzo Ball. pic.twitter.com/fp1b78aaWT
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) July 14, 2017
When asked why he switched up his shoes again by ESPN’s Cassidy Hubbarth this was Lonzo’s response:
“Big Baller Brand you know, you got freedom. Do whatever you want and I’m showcasing that.”
When Hubbarth hinted at Lonzo wearing Under Armour shoes in his next game, Ball simply replied: “Stay tuned.”
Lonzo may not be wearing his own shoe in his latest games, but that’s no indication that he’s ditching the Z02s. It seems like Ball may be starting a bidding war between the major shoe companies by wearing different brands and having incredible performances in them. If there is one thing for certain, it’s that Lonzo’s camp and the Big Baller Brand are great marketers, and while Lonzo continues to put on a show, no matter what shoe he’s wearing the Big Baller Brand is going to profit.
If Ball can put up 36 points in Nike’s and post a triple-double in Adidas, there’s no reason to think he won’t do the same in a pair of Under Armour shoes if he decides to wear those next. For now everyone will be waiting, and watching, to see what shoes Lonzo balls in next. He is putting the major shoe companies that originally snubbed on notice and they may be calling him sooner than later to strike a deal.