It took a whole weekend, but LaVar Ball has returned to the sports talk/debate/yelling television circuit. He’s fired up to talk about Big Baller Brand’s new shoe, the ZO2. The first signature shoe for Lonzo Ball was unveiled on Friday with a price tag of $495, leading to a great deal of mockery from the internet.
The ZO2 didn’t enjoy a great first weekend on the pre-order market, and the (rightful) feeling of many is that they priced themselves out of the market for a basketball shoe. That hasn’t stopped the patriarch of the Ball family from coming out swinging in defense of the shoe, its price, and his son. LaVar joined FS1’s Undisputed on Monday to holler about the shoe and debate the merits of the price, which, as was inevitable, turned into him bloviating about how his son is worth more than Michael Jordan coming out of school.
You can literally see the moment where this goes from fun to painful for Shannon Sharpe as LaVar mentions that “he ain’t Lonzo Ball, that’s why” in reference to Sharpe bringing up the fact that Jordan’s first signature shoe sold for less than $100. Sharpe’s points are all valid and correct. Lonzo Ball has to prove himself in order to make the shoe iconic and make it culturally relevant to the point where people are willing to spend that much on a shoe.
However, LaVar isn’t here for rational arguments he’s here to yell about how his son is already a bigger name than Michael Jordan was coming out of North Carolina.
That line was expected from Ball’s first appearance on TV, considering he’s claimed even more ridiculous things about Jordan in the past. My favorite part was, in trying to explain that this shoe belongs in the tier with Gucci and Prada and that it doesn’t matter that Ball hasn’t played in the NBA yet, asked, “they’ve got Gucci and Prada, what have they done?”
First off, I love that LaVar Ball is really just a Paul Finebaum caller manifested as an intense basketball dad, claiming Gucci and Prada ain’t played nobody. Second, it’s an amazing thing to say considering Gucci and Prada don’t make basketball sneakers, but sometimes you just have to let the man cook.