This has been a summer of firsts for former first round pick Rashad McCants. The former Timberwolves guard was selected No. 1 overall by Team Trilogy in the inaugural draft for Ice Cube’s BIG3 league and McCants also became the first professional player other than Lonzo Ball to wear the Big Baller Brand ZO2s — the signature sneaker of the Los Angeles Lakers rookie.
“I’ll be wearing the ZO2s,” McCants told Nice Kicks back in June. “I’m a big supporter of entrepreneurship in my own community so the moment they launched their own brand it was a no brainer to support them. I also wanted to be the first professional athlete to wear them, so come June 25th if the shoe is here I’ll definitely be wearing them. If not, I have a decision to make between a couple shoes like the PG1s and some vintage Kobes that I’ll shock the world with.”
Unfortunately for McCants, the ZO2s were not available on June 25th as they will only be shipping out in November. With the sneakers simply not being available, McCants has been playing in the Air Jordan 17+ Retro for the entirety of the BIG3. However, McCants personally received a pair of the ZO2s from LaVar Ball when the BIG3 was in Los Angeles on August 14.
Because of that encounter in the bowels of Staples Center, McCants was finally able to lace up the Lakers colorway of the ZO2 for the BIG3 playoffs in Seattle on Sunday.
Despite being the first player other than Ball to wear the ZO2 in a professional basketball setting, McCants actually made a shoe change at halftime of the Trilogy’s 50-39 victory over the Ghost Ballers. McCants switched from the ZO2 to his trusted pair of Jordans. But even though he made the change, McCants was quite impressed with the ZO2.
“I just wanted to be able to debut the shoe and see how it felt in real-time from a performance standpoint,” McCants told Nice Kicks. “I’m not to used to a lot of low top shoes because I like the ankle support. That’s why I switched,” said McCants.
“Overall, I am very impressed with the comfort of the shoe and the performance. I’m very pleased and I would encourage everyone to try it out.”
— BIG3 (@thebig3) August 21, 2017
McCants did not reveal if he would be wearing the ZO2s in the BIG3 championship game in Las Vegas on Saturday, August 26. But even if McCants doesn’t continue to wear the ZO2, he will keep vocally supporting the Ball family’s company since he wants to see African American run companies thrive.
“[African Americans] don’t have much options of income and profit revenue,” McCants told Nice Kicks. “LaVar is creating a whole new revenue stream for himself and his family. I always wanted to do that for myself. But [until that happens] I want to support him.”