Lonzo Ball played his first NBA Summer League game in Big Baller Brand sneakers, which are manufactured by his father, LaVar, and are sold at a hefty $495 price point.
But after wearing BBB shoes for his first two games, the 19-year-old branched out — and since then, Lonzo’s worn shoes from every major brand. For last night’s Summer League game, he stepped on the court in Jordan 31 kicks. For previous games, Lonzo had worn Nike Kobe ADs, as well as James Harden and Stephen Curry’s signature styles, made by Adidas and Under Armour, respectively.
In changing up his kicks for each game, Lonzo is, according to his father, making a statement to the major shoe companies.
“It’s making a statement to the brands of what they could have had with an open mind,” Laver told ESPN. “The players are the brand ambassadors. The brand is nothing without the players.”
LaVar had previously said that a deal with Lonzo was worth at least $1 billion, a sum far greater than what any of the big shoe companies would likely be willing to pay the young point guard.
Lonzo himself added fuel to the fire started by his dad. When ESPN asked him if he was trying to start a bidding war by changing up his shoe style, Lonzo replied, “Something like that.”
While a $1 billion deal probably won’t be coming Lonzo’s way, he has generated buzz around the NBA Summer League through changing up his shoe looks — and one of the big sneaker brands could take note and offer him a deal he’s willing to accept.