Storyline: Lonzo Ball Shoes

39 rumors in this storyline

For the first time since his NBA preseason debut, Lonzo Ball wore his own signature shoe—the Big Baller Brand ZO2 Prime Remix—to a Los Angeles Lakers game, according to ESPN’s Jovan Buha. This time around, though, he wore them for little more than warming up before the Lakers’ exhibition finale against the Clippers and warming the bench during Friday night’s game at Staples Center.

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7 months ago via ESPN

Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball said he is still deliberating on whether he will wear other shoe brands in addition to his Big Baller Brand this season like he did when he created a stir at the Las Vegas Summer League. “Who knows,” Ball said when asked if he will wear other brands such as Nike and Adidas during his rookie season. “Probably my shoes, though, thinking about it right now. “I’ll definitely be in my shoes the first game and then just go from there.”
9 months ago via ESPN

After each stateside brand passed on expressing interest, Big Baller Brand engaged China-based athletic brand Anta to discuss a potential partnership. Anta currently has traditional sponsorship deals with Klay Thompson and Rajon Rondo, and made signature shoes for Kevin Garnett for his final seven seasons in the league. After a “round of conversations,” according to a source, Anta declined repeated requests for a follow-up meeting after Big Baller Brand presented them with a private label manufacturing concept.
9 months ago via ESPN

Since launching the $495 pre-order edition of the ZO2 sneaker, along with an autographed $995 “collector’s edition,” Big Baller Brand is on the hook to both manufacture and deliver the shoe to customers by the Nov. 24 promised ship date. More than 700 pairs have already been ordered. All things considered — sky-high price, six-month shipping delay, brand that has never before made a shoe — it’s a respectable number that beat out the expectations of several rival industry sources.
9 months ago via ESPN

In negotiations with the big brands — Nike, adidas and Under Armour — LaVar made it known that he was looking for $1 billion and wanted those brands to sublicense his Big Baller Brand. The shoe brands quickly passed. Days later, the first Big Baller Brand shoes launched on the company website. Industry sources indicate that a deal for Ball from the traditional companies originally fell in the $1.5 million a year range. Playing on the Lakers, plus the power of his holdout, could boost that up over $2 million a year.

Sports apparel giants Nike, Adidas and Under Armour were reportedly prepared to offer UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball, a top prospect in the 2017 NBA draft, a $10 million shoe contract, but his father, LaVar Ball, wanted a “more lucrative” deal. ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported the information during an appearance this week on the Dan Patrick Show, per Brad Crawford of 247Sports. “We said Tiger (Woods) might be the next Jordan taking over, but there is no next Jordan in basketball or probably no next Jordan anywhere,” Rovell said. “I know that’s going to disappoint LaVar Ball, but I think you have to say that.”

Rovell went on to say LaVar Ball is betting on his Big Baller Brand rather than taking a deal that could have doubled his son’s rookie salary. The ESPN business reporter told Patrick he’s surprised the patriarch didn’t take a different route after the Los Angeles Lakers landed the second overall pick. “It’s strange to me that LaVar didn’t at least fold some of his cards and go back to the shoe companies in earnest,” he said. “After the Lakers thing goes down and the perfect scenario is going to unfold, the new deal, Nike (to) five years and $20 million. But what does LaVar Ball do? Instead of saying he now wants $1 billion, he now wants $3 billion.”

LaVar Ball said Wednesday that if Nike, Under Armour or Adidas wants to make a deal with his Big Baller Brand now, the asking price is $3 billion. He also explained that he sees no need to market his products to women. In a wide-ranging, sometimes contentious interview with Fox Sports 1’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” LaVar Ball reiterated that he wants his son, NBA prospect Lonzo Ball, to play only for the Los Angeles Lakers and revealed he has sold 400 to 500 pairs of $495 ZO2 shoes since they launched two weeks ago.

Fox Sports reporter Kristine Leahy, whom Ball earlier referred to as a “hater” and told to “stay in your lane” after she pressed him on the number of shoes sold, argued that for Big Baller Brand to be appealing to the big shoe companies, he would have to market his products to women. Ball scoffed at the idea. “Yeah, if you have a women’s company. … We’re talking about Big Baller Brand,” he said. Later in the interview, after several tense exchanges with Leahy, Ball said: “I never disrespect women, but I tell you what, if you act like that, something’s coming to you and it’s OK.”

Those stars waited until they were stars to cut out the middleman. But already LaVar’s called out: the shoe companies, the NCAA, AAU basketball teams run by shoe companies, retail stores taking a cut of shoe and merchandise sales — basically all the gatekeepers of the world he’s trying (to conquer. Is he trying to change the system or work it? That might not matter, as long as at least one of his sons lives up to the hype he’s created for them. “People don’t understand the movement,” he says. “This is a power play to show everybody, ‘Yo, we don’t need you to make this s — .'”

LaVar Ball’s plan to make Nike and Adidas regret passing on a co-branding opportunity with his son Lonzo and Big Baller Brand appears to be heading in the wrong direction. At yesterday’s Ballislife All-American Game at Long Beach City College, photographer Cassy Athena snapped this shot of the Ball family—LaVar, Lonzo and LaMelo—sitting courtside. Immediately, people noticed that despite unveiling Lonzo’s ZO2 Big Baller Brand signature sneaker earlier week, the brothers were laced up in Jordan Retros, while LaVar wore the Adidas Energy Boost 3.
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April 21, 2018 | 1:02 pm EDT Update
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