In his much hyped debut at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas last week, Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball laced up the Sho’time colorway of his signature Big Baller Brand ZO2 and had what he called “his worst game ever.” Undeterred, Ball bounced back in the Lakers’ second Summer League game by recording a triple-double of 11 points, 11 rebound and 11 assists in the same silo.
Ball definitely showed improvement in last night’s game however, as he trumped that performance by dropping 36 points in the Lakers’ 103-102 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.
But while Ball becoming more confident and comfortable playing in an NBA setting likely allowed him to go off, it also could’ve been his shoes, which were the Kobe A.D. “Purple Stardust” not his signature Big Baller Brand sneakers.
Lonzo Ball takes the court for Summer League warmups. He's wearing…..this Nike Kobe AD: pic.twitter.com/5nrDRLCLP6
— Nick DePaula (@NickDePaula) July 13, 2017
Many took notice of Ball’s sneakers, including LeBron James, who couldn’t help but show his loyalty to Nike:
Ball though, isn’t making a big deal out of his shoe change as he told reporters that he just had to channel Bryant’s “Mamba mentality” and since he’s a Big Baller, he could wear whatever he wants on the court.
Lonzo Ball on wearing Kobe Bryant Nikes: "Mamba mentality. Just thought I'd switch it up. … Good when you can wear whatever you want." pic.twitter.com/J5kdRRGp81
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) July 13, 2017
Lonzo Ball on wearing the Kobes tonight: "when you're a big baller, you can wear whatever you want."
— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) July 13, 2017
You would think that Ball’s outspoken father Lonzo would be incensed by his son’s sneaker choice but he actually had a much different reaction.
From ESPN’s Darren Rovell:
“Lonzo is not forced to wear any brand and can play in any shoe he wants as long as it’s OK with the NBA,” LaVar Ball told ESPN by text early Thursday morning. “This is what being independent is all about.”
Ball may have a signature shoe but it sounds like he won’t be wearing it all the time in games. And while that might be strange, as the Balls say, it is just all part of being a Big Baller.