Seems Lonzo Ball may have had a change of heart about the Big Baller Brand boycott — because he’s rocking his signature ZO2 slides again … even after covering his BBB tattoo. The L.A. Lakers star wasn’t talking when we spotted him at LAX on Monday — but he made a pretty big statement with his footwear … the famous $200 Big Baller Brand slides.
Eric Woodyard: Donovan Mitchell has been practicing in his Adidas D.O.N. Issue #1 signature sneakers for months now but will officially break them out on-court during the playoffs, according to a Deseret News source.
Duke says it is “looking into” lawyer Michael Avenatti’s claims that Nike paid Zion Williamson’s mother for “bogus consulting services” to an entity called Sharonda Sampson Consulting. A legal source familiar with South Carolina told me there is no registered business entity in the state called Sharonda Sampson Consulting or anything similar.
“We are aware of the allegation and, as we would with any compliance matter, are looking into it. Duke is fully committed to compliance with all NCAA rules and regulations,” Duke AD Mike White wrote in a statement to Duke’s student newspaper, The Chronicle. “Every student athlete at Duke is reviewed to ensure their eligibility. With regard to men’s basketball: all recruits and their families are thoroughly vetted by Duke in collaboration with the NCAA through the Eligibility Center’s amateurism certification process.” Avenatti, who has been charged with attempting to extort Nike for $22.5 million, took to Twitter Friday night with claims Nike made payments to Sampson during Williamson’s recruitment. The 6-foot-7 285-pound Williamson shocked the basketball world in January 2018 when he chose Duke over home-state Clemson as well as South Carolina, Kentucky and Kansas.
Under Armour is taking a cautious approach to the Zion Williamson sneaker sweepstakes. CEO Kevin Plank was asked how he plans to approach the Williamson bidding war during an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” on Friday, and noted his company will have to be “smart” with how it manages its money.