Lonzo Ball forewent signing a big sneaker deal, choosing instead to wear his father’s Big Baller Brand shoes on the court. But at an NBA Summer League game last night, Ball wore Nike sneakers instead — and he had the best game of his professional career so far.
The No. 2 draft pick took criticism after the first game of his professional career, when he scored only five points while clad in Laker-themed Big Baller Brand kicks.
In his next game, Ball bounced back with a triple-double, with 11 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds.
But last night, in just his third Summer League game, the 19-year-old had a far more impressive game after ditching his BBB shoes for purple Kobe A.D. sneakers. Ball scored 36 points, recording 11 assists, eight rebounds and five steals.
While it’s hard to say whether the different shoes were the reason for Ball’s improved performance, he went on ESPN’s SportsCenter after the game and explained his decision to sport the Nike kicks instead of his BBB ones.
“At BBB, you can play in what you want,” Ball said after the game. “I already played in both of my shoes, might as well get the ‘Mamba Mentality’ going. [I] put them on, and it worked out tonight.”
The basketball player is not planning to reopen negotiations with Nike — his father Lavar Ball had said that his son would sign a deal with the sportswear giant only if offered $1 billion — but it seems that he might continue to switch up his footwear from game to game.
Regardless of whether the shoes had an effect on Ball’s game, consumers might prefer to purchase Kobe A.D.s, which retail for $160, over the $495 BBB sneakers.
Shop both styles below:
Nike Kobe A.D. basketball shoe, $160; store.nike.com
ZO2: Sho’Time!, $495; bigballerbrand.com