One of the most interesting sagas from Lonzo Ball‘s two seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers was the story of Big Baller Brand.
At the company’s inception, many thought the shoe brand featuring Ball and his brothers was a joke and a media ploy by LaVar Ball. However, when it was clear the brand was serious, the $500 price tag eventually came. Their next scandal was both the length of time it took for people to receive shoes as well as the quality.
Big Baller Brand then came crumbling down when it was revealed that Alan Foster — a business partner and friend of the Ball family — was stealing money from his personal fortune. Now, Big Baller Brand is more of a cautionary tale for players wanting to sign with smaller brands.
Ball recently added another layer to the hilarity of the Big Baller Brand story when he talked about the first time he debuted the shoes at the 2017 Las Vegas Summer League, via The LightHarted Podcast with Josh Hart:
“If you literally have those shoes from those games, they’re exploded.”
Ball says that in those first games with those shoes, he had to switch them out every quarter because they’d likely exploded during the 12 minutes of play:
“Cause they were my shoe. I had to debut them. We went so far with it. I’m like, ‘Cool, I can get a quarter in, but that’s it. We gotta switch them every quarter.’”
Ball will likely no longer wear Big Baller Brand shoes once he debuts for the New Orleans Pelicans, as he is open to signing deals with other shoe companies.
What might be troublesome to Lakers fans and the organization is that Ball was wearing obviously defective shoes. And while for some that may not be a problem, Ball missed nearly 90 games in the first two seasons of his career with various ankle and knee injuries.
While correlation does not always equal causation, it is a bit suspicious that a player wearing defective shoes often had sprained ankles and knees.
Hopefully, Ball going to the Pelicans will be a truly fresh start for him. No more absurd pressures of being the next Magic Johnson, no more media breathing down his neck, and possibly no more Big Baller Brand — a shoe and company that likely did Ball much more harm than good.