Yesterday, after some heavy buzz, Lonzo Ball finally unveiled his first signature shoe under his independent Big Baller Brand, the ZO2 Prime. Many people didn’t believe Lonzo or his father LaVar when they said they would go out of the traditional sneaker sphere, working with companies like Nike, Adidas, or Under Armor and produce their own footwear, but here we are. That in and of itself would have been a stunning achievement, but all people could talk about on the Internet was its outrageous price, a stagger $495.
Shortly after the ZO2 Prime went public LaVar took to Twitter to try and silence the backlash in his own imitable style. “Big Baller’s loose!” he wrote. “If you can’t afford the ZO2’S, you’re NOT a BIG BALLER!” This didn’t sit well with a lot of folks who took it as a callous dismissal of all of his son’s fans who couldn’t afford to cop a pair for themselves. One figure who felt this way was rapper Wale, who publicly called LaVar out for his messaging.
“What about the kids that look up to your son?” Wale asked? Then he invoked the name of the greatest basketball player of all-time to drive home his point. “Mike never insulted ppl who couldn’t afford his kicks.”
Whether he actually feels that way or not, LaVar certainly thinks that the price for the sneaker is more than fair, as he related in an interview on the Dan Le Batard Show. “I figured that’s what the shoe was worth,” he said. “I liked the way it sounds. You see, when you are your own owner, you can come up with any price you want.”