At just 19 years old, UCLA Bruins point guard Lonzo Ball has already made quite the name for himself. A contender for the 2017 Naismith Trophy in his freshman year, Lonzo is now considered likely to be the #1 overall pick in next month's NBA draft. While his skills on the court have earned him nothing but praise, it is his dealings off the hardwood that have thrown him into the spotlight for all the wrong reasons – or more specifically, the dealings of his father, LaVar.
Seeking a billion dollars for the apparel rights to Lonzo and his two brothers, LaVar failed to negotiate a licensing deal with the likes of Nike, adidas and Under Armour, with Nike co-founder Phil Knight calling the amount 'a little steep.' As a result, Lonzo won't be stepping out in sneakers by any of the big three and will instead be repping his father's own label, Big Baller Brand.
The brand has just revealed Lonzo's first signature sneaker design – the ZO2 Prime. The low-cut design features an 'Ortholight' insole, 'Microfiber python texture', 'Delorean' finish and a $495 price tag. If that's a little bit cheap for your tastes, you can instead opt for the ZO2: Wet, which will run you $995. The extra five Benjamins will land you what appears to be the exact same sneaker with a LED-illuminated acrylic case and a personal autograph from Lonzo Ball. You can also splash out an additional $220 for the ZO2 Signature Slides, which, as one astute Twitter user pointed out, is even more than a Gucci pair!
While the shoe isn't set to start shipping until the end of the year, the internet has already started roasting the ZO2 to holy hell, both for its ludicrous price and for its strong resemblance to existing designs from Nike and adidas – namely the Kobe 11 and the Crazylight BOOST Low.
According to LaVar, the brand 'is aiming for Lonzo’s signature sneaker to tap into a new market – above the athletic performance kicks from the likes of Nike, Jordan, Adidas and Under Armour, but below the high-end designer shoes of Gucci, Prada or Louis Vuitton.'
If you're feeling the Big Baller Brand ZO2 Prime, Wet or Signature Slides, you can head on over to the BBB website right now to pre-order your pair.