If you're a fan of Lonzo Ball and his ZO2s, you must be riding a wild emotional rollercoaster right now. First, we learned a few weeks back that those who pre-ordered the ZO2 Prime would have an entirely different 'remix' of the model posted out to them. The NBA's regular season is now in full swing, and the Big Ballers out there are surely sweating in their BBB 'Signature Slides' as they see how the ZO2s stack up against the more established performance basketball shoes.
Initially, it didn't look like Big Baller Brand's 'revolutionary foam' sole – which had been touted by Lavar Ball as the main performance feature of the shoe – had the edge over the tech developed by the bigger sneaker brands. Clipper Nation totally overshadowed the ZO2 Prime's on-court debut, with LA's second team dominating both Lonzo and the Lakers.
Lavar promised us that the ZO2 – with foam that allegedly provides 40 per cent more rebound than standard EVA – was set to out-perform models from adidas, Jordan, Nike and Under Armour. Plus, as Lonzo tells us on his release's tie-in rap track, he's 'changed the game, ZO2'. However, for a minute there, it seemed like the Ball family weren't being totally honest with us. Lonzo's first official game as a Laker was lacklustre: a mere three points, four assists and nine rebounds were scored by BBB's poster boy. Were we to blame the player, the ZO2's performance tech, or chalk this down to nerves? It was anyone's guess. In any case, the debut gave Big Ballers some useful styling tips on how to match your ZO2 Primes with Nike's new NBA Grip socks.
Laker's coach Luke Walton didn't seem too concerned about the poor Ball skills, though; telling reporters, 'I thought he was fine last night. It's a good learning experience for everybody.' Walton's wisdom proved true as Ball was only one assist off netting a triple double in yesterday's game against the Suns. According to Laker's PR, Lonzo's the first teenager since LeBron James to achieve such a feat. Unlike in the NBA pre-season, where Lonzo wore nearly every shoe except the ZO2, he actually played in the ZO2s in this match up against Phoenix!
It's too early to assess definitively how the ZO2 Prime performs alongside other brands' offerings but, at the very least, they've not yet fallen off Lonzo's foot as Durant's KD10s did multiple times last season. If that's the barometer we're using to rate performance shoes nowadays, Ball's Z02s are doing OK.