The National Basketball Association has done a magnificent job with the greatest basketball players in the world, providing fans a chance to witness their greatness and support their favorite players, via their merchandise and apparel. Thursday provided a chance for NBA Draft prospect Lonzo Ball to make his presence felt, as the Big Baller Brand released their first signature shoe.
Stars around the NBA work hard towards obtaining a shoe deal with the likes of Nike, Under Armour and Adidas. However, Lonzo and LaVar Ball have decided to go against the grain, searching for a partner to work alongside with, rather than giving away their creative ability.
All in all, LaVar has done a magnificent job in gaining national attention for the Big Baller Brand, which has passed their original market of Chino Hills, California. However, with national recognition come the critiques of the sports aficionados and fans alike.
With the shoes priced at $495 and $995, it certainly pushes the threshold for basketball sneaker prices. All of Twitter had a field day with the announcement regarding the Big Baller Brand shoes, especially those in the NBA realm. Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal decided to get in on action, pointing to the ridiculous pricing for the shoes, via O’Neal’s Twitter:
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) May 4, 2017
O’Neal was well known for the affordability of his signature sneakers, whether it was priced at Reebok or at local Payless shoe stores for those that couldn’t afford the competition. LaVar’s outspoken personality and questionable statements have captured the attention of the NBA, with certain media members stating it will put a target on his son’s back before he even steps on an NBA floor.
Lonzo has already demonstrated the remarkable traits of a superior point guard, drawing comparisons to Jason Kidd after just one season at UCLA. However, many question the immense pressure LaVar is placing on his son, who will have to back up the talk of his father.
O’Neal, whether as a TNT analyst or during his playing days with the Lakers, is known for his immediate responses and hilarious anecdotes. On the other hand, LaVar never ceases the opportunity to get his point across, whether rationally of in an unprecedented manner. He took to Twitter to express his frustration over the perception of the shoes, stating that those against them simply aren’t big ballers:
Big Baller's loose! If you can't afford the ZO2'S, you're NOT a BIG BALLER! ?
— Lavar Ball (@Lavarbigballer) May 4, 2017
The Big Baller Brand was already known for the hefty prices on their website, with a $220 pair of slides also releasing with the ZO2. However, the actions of LaVar shouldn’t affect the perception and grind that Lonzo has undergone.
The Lakers are reportedly enamored with Lonzo, hoping to retain their top-three protected pick towards the up-tempo point guard. While LaVar continues to capture headlines with his ambiguous and self-sustained thought, Lonzo eventually has to suit up and take the floor to prove his worth.