Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball had the best NBA summer league game of his young career on Wednesday night, with 36 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds and five steals in a win over the 76ers. And he wasn’t wearing Big Baller Brand ZO2s, eschewing father LaVar Ball’s nascent footwear brand for a pair of purple Kobe A.D. Nikes (as you can see in the above photo).
Afterward, Lonzo Ball explained that he was just trying to capture Kobe Bryant’s competitive mind-set with the Nikes.
“Um, you know, Mamba mentality,” Ball said, per ESPN. “Thought I’d switch it up.”
But Ball then said something a little strange: “Like I said, you can wear whatever you want when you play with Big Baller Brand … and it is just nice to get out there and do that.”
Putting aside the peculiarity of marketing a brand of sneakers by not wearing them, wouldn’t Ball the younger (or anyone else who signs with Big Baller) stand to profit more if he picked a sneaker brand and stuck with it instead of switching things up on a game-by-game basis? Will there be times when he changes his sneakers after every quarter? Am I overthinking this?
Anyway, LeBron James, owner of a lifetime contract with Nike, was courtside on Wednesday night and seemed to notice this fact, highlighting Ball’s shoes in an Instagram video with a “Just. Do. It” caption.