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LaVar Ball says son Lonzo is showing shoe brands ‘what they could have had’

Lonzo Ball is “making a statement to the brands” by wearing a different shoe each Summer League game, according to his father. (Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA Today Sports)
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If the $495 Big Baller Brand ZO2 shoes make another appearance on Lonzo Ball’s feet in the NBA Summer League, it won’t be until Monday’s championship game. Ball, the Los Angeles Lakers rookie and No. 2 overall draft pick, ditched his signature shoe for a pair of Nikes on Wednesday and had the best game of his young career. The point guard has worn a different pair of shoes in every game since.

After scoring 14 points with nine rebounds and seven assists in Saturday’s win over the Nets while wearing Steph Curry’s Under Armour Curry 4s, Ball took the court in Sunday’s semifinals against the Mavericks in a pair of Jordan XXXIs.

So what gives?

“You insinuated to me yesterday that this is all part of a master plan. Are you trying to start a bidding war here?” ESPN’s Cassidy Hubbarth asked Ball before Sunday’s game.

“Something like that,” Ball said.

Ball’s outspoken father, LaVar, who created Big Baller Brand, offered a little more insight into the thinking behind his oldest son wearing Nike, Adidas and Under Armour over the past few days.

“It’s making a statement to the brands of what they could have had with an open mind,” Ball said in a text message to ESPN’s Darren Rovell. “The players are the brand ambassadors. The brand is nothing without the players.”

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LaVar Ball also said he’s still open to Lonzo signing a shoe deal with a more established brand.

“If the price is right,” he told Rovell. “Quite frankly we are officially in the shoe game, and are a billion-dollar brand either way.”

Lonzo Ball had 14 points, 10 assists and four rebounds in the first half of Sunday’s game, as the Lakers built a 62-40 lead. He headed to the locker room briefly in the third quarter with calf tightness before returning to the bench. Ball finished with 16 points, 10 assists and four rebounds in the Lakers’ 108-98 win. Los Angeles will play Portland on Monday.