Lonzo Ball is getting a fresh start this summer. This isn’t just because he’s going to New Orleans as part of the Anthony Davis trade and will suit up for the Pelicans next season, either, because Ball cut ties with his family’s footwear and apparel company, Big Baller Brand, following some shady business involving its co-founder, Alan Foster. In fact, Ball has filed a lawsuit against Foster, alleging that he stole money from the family.
Big Baller Brand was a controversial business from the moment it launched, giving signature sneakers to the Ball sons after LaVar Ball passed on a $10 million contract from Nike for his eldest son. But that’s not all: Apparently, the Los Angeles Lakers suspected that the sneakers might have led to the injuries that slowed down Ball each of the last two years, to the point that they asked him about it while he was still on their team.
It turns out the Lakers might have been onto something. Ball appeared on Pelicans teammate Josh Hart’s podcast and explained that when he first busted out the ZO2s at Summer League in 2017, he had to swap them out every quarter due to various issues that would pop up, such as them ripping.
“No one knows the real story about them shoes, though,” Ball said. “Them ZO2s I was playing in, they was not ready.”
Ball said that someone would have a bag while he was playing in which there were four extra pairs of shoes, and when a quarter would end, he’d have to change.
“If you literally have my shoes from those games, they was just, like, exploded,” Ball said.
Ball went onto say that he felt he had to wear them despite their issues because they were his signature sneakers, but that when “I switched my shoes, I magically got good again.” It had previously been reported that there were issues with the design on the ZO2 that meant they had to be fixed before Ball made his NBA debut, but the extent to which these issues existed are still kind of amazing. At the very least, hopefully now that he’s out of BBB kicks and moving onto something else, the various injuries that have slowed Ball down in each of his first two campaigns won’t be nearly as frequent.