During his best game of summer league, Lonzo Ball raised eyebrows when he opted to wear purple and black Nike shoes rather than his signature Big Baller Brand line. Apparently, that doesn’t matter if you’re a big baller.
"You know, Mamba Mentality. Thought I'd switch it up,” Ball said last night, via SB Nation Lakers blog Silver Screen and Roll. “You can wear whatever you want when you play for Big Baller Brand. It's just nice to get out there and do that.”
Ball filled up the stat sheet with 36 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds against Philadelphia. But the dominant storyline one day later is how well he played in Kobe A.D’s instead of his signature ZO2 Big Baller Brand sneaker.
The Ball brothers are the only athletes signed on the Big Baller Brand roster at this moment. Lonzo Ball wore the ZO2’s in the previous two games he played, but missed the third game after an apparent groin injury.
This isn’t the first time Ball hasn’t worn his shoe, and it won’t be the last
Lavar Ball said the Ball brothers could wear whatever brand they choose in an interview with Complex’s Joe La Puma. We’ll see Lonzo Ball wearing another brand throughout certain points of the season, depending on what mood he’s in.
Ball didn’t wear the ZO2 at his first pre-draft workout with the Lakers, either. Instead, he suited up in the Harden Vol. 1 by Adidas — a shoe he wore all season at UCLA.
The ZO2 was available for purchase then like it is now, and we saw him wearing a pair in his first promotional photoshoot of the shoe with SLAM Magazine. But he still hadn’t played in them.
But now, he’s worn them twice on the court already in summer league and Big Baller Brand has also made four new colorways available for preorder since releasing the original. The brand is growing with Ball officially becoming a Laker.
Is Ball wearing Nikes good or bad for Big Baller Brand?
Ball wearing another brand could mean a number of things. Maybe the shoe just isn’t that comfortable on him yet. Maybe wearing the Kobe’s helped alleviate the groin issue he had earlier in the week. Maybe he really did just want to switch it up.
All of those things are fine for Ball on the court, but it’s an odd look off of it. Right or wrong, people who watched him last night and people who are waking up to Ball’s performance are talking about how he did it in Nikes.
Especially LeBron James, who was sitting courtside in Vegas.
Ball is the main reason why fans are showing up in hoards at summer league. He was part of the only sellout summer league game in its history.
This is also after Elena Della Donne — one of the best WNBA players in the world and a signature Nike athlete — made a joke about seeing the ZO2s fall apart in the middle of Ball’s summer league debut.
How great would it be if @ZO2_ blew out his shoe in his first summer league game? should have gone with @Nike— Elena Delle Donne (@De11eDonne) July 8, 2017
Lonzo Ball is under a microscope, thanks largely to his outspoken father. People will talk about whatever he says or does, and they’ll always talk about the Big Baller Brand. That can be a great thing — as long as he’s wearing the ZO2.
When he’s not, people will say he made the wrong decision by moving independently instead of with an established brand. And it becomes even more of an issue when he’s wears one of those rival brands. .
Ball will sport the ZO2s again. He’ll have big performances in them on a higher stage. But at least until his next big game, people are going to talk about how he should have signed with Nike.