Lonzo Ball made an appearance at ComplexCon over the weekend, sitting on the Sneaker of the Year panel with a number of other influential sneaker personalities. While the young Laker's signature sneaker, the ZO2, didn't make the cut, the panel's other members used the opportunity to dish out their thoughts on Big Baller Brand.
Both Wale and DJ Clark Kent praised the Ball family's initiative to start their own sneaker brand, but were less kind when it turned to the ZO2's appearance. Clark Kent described it as a 'take-up of a Brandblack shoe', but a 'takedown of a Kobe.' Wale was a little more blunt stating 'Are they anywhere in the realm of top 30, 40, 50 of the year? Fuck no.' Despite the criticism, Clark Kent stated, 'You don't have to like it, but you have to respect the thought of it.' Wale also explained that he would wear the ZO2 – if he were a 19-year-old basketball player.
In response to the negative comments directed at Big Baller Brands' debut designs – specifically the ZO2 – as well as the confusing involvement of Brandblack in their construction, Ball explained that they were faced with a constrained time table, which meant Brandblack had to step in and handle production. While relatively new to the scene, BrandBlack is the brainchild of industry veteran David Raysse, who has over two decades' experience in footwear.