The Ball family has caused plenty of controversy recently, and when their Big Baller Brand released the debut signature shoes of soon-to-be NBA rookie Lonzo Ball, it set social media alight.
LaVar Ball, Lonzo’s father, spoke exclusively with Footwear News last week and said that while meetings with Nike, Under Armour and Adidas had not yielded a deal, there would still be a sneaker announcement. Then on Thursday, Big Baller Brand released the ZO2 Signature Slides, the ZO2: Wet and the ZO2: Prime. Immediately following the announcement, many were quick to criticize the $495 price tag for the ZO2: Prime.
But in a Monday appearance on FOX Sports’ “Undisputed” with Skip Bayless, Joy Taylor and Shannon Sharpe, LaVar defended the pricing, explaining that the shoes are “symbolic,” since Lonzo is the first player to have a signature shoe with his own brand before playing in a single NBA game.
When asked how the shoe was selling, LaVar said, “It’s selling on the fact that it’s a good shoe. It looks good. It’s a family thing.”
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When Bayless pressed LaVar to get specific on sales so far, LaVar paused for a moment and said, “I’ll give you a number. How about 495?”
“You’ve had 495 orders?” asked Bayless.
“At least. I’ll leave it at that,” LaVar said.
Meanwhile, on the day of the release, there were some reports that there had been upwards of 5,000 orders. But Matt Halfhill of Nice Kicks did some digging, monitoring the inventory on the Big Baller Brands site as well as comparing the order number he got when he purchased a pair to the other order numbers he saw, to calculate how many orders had been made since his purchase.
“Out of the 328 transactions that happened on BigBallerBrand.com in the first 24 hours that the shoes were offered for sale, we tracked that a total of just 263 pairs of sneakers had sold in both signed and unsigned versions of the ZO2: Prime,” Halfhill wrote.
“While we have no access to sales receipts, transactions or traffic data, we have been monitoring the inventory levels of the footwear listed on BigBallerBrand.com. After noting the initial product levels at the start and deducting the current units sold, we can confidently say that 210 pairs of unsigned ZO2: Primes had sold (103 pairs in size 8.5 alone), along with 53 autographed ZO2: Primes.”
This number is certainly a far cry from the reported 5,000 pairs and is just more than half of the number of orders LaVar Ball told “Undisputed” that they’d received.
With the NBA Draft still about six weeks away, there’s plenty of time for the Ball family to continue to make headlines.
Watch the full segment below.