Many of the top NBA prospects are signed to endorsement deals after they declare for the draft. Brands see the potential in landing a premier talent and it’s not difficult to understand why. The best way to market a product is through brand recognition and people like to buy the brands that their favorite players are wearing. Players who achieve star status in the NBA are sometimes given their own line of products, specifically shoes. Lebron James is sponsored by Nike, James Harden is sponsored Adidas and Steph Curry sponsored by Under Armour. However, it seems that Lonzo Ball is taking a different route than his NBA predecessors.
If you don’t know who Lonzo Ball is, definitely take the time to look him up. He was one of top High School prospects entering the 2016-17 NCAA season and lived up to the hype. UCLA went 15-17 the year before Lonzo arrived. In his first season as a freshman, Lonzo led the team to the Sweet 16, earning consensus first team All-American honors. After one season, he declared for the draft as most would have expected, and many analysts think that he could be the #1 overall pick this year. However, though things seem to be going well for Lonzo, he still has a way to go before being considered a NBA Superstar.
It doesn’t seem that Lonzo’s father, Lavar Ball, could wait for his son to actually get drafted before launching a new line of apparel dedicated to his son’s success. Big Baller Brand has officially launched their own independent line of apparel that is not affiliated with any of the major brands that you’re familiar with. The site features T-Shirts, Hoodies, women’s wear, and of course shoes. The first line of “ZO2: Primes” start at $495.00, and their slides (flip flops) cost a whopping $220.00 dollars. Needless to say, if you’re looking to rock some BBB, you better be willing to drop some serious coin.
Has Lavar Ball officially lost his mind? I brushed him off as an idiot when he claimed that he would have beaten Michael Jordan in a 1 on 1 game during his prime, but this is borderline insane. BBB is selling their first shoe for more than any major basketball shoe on the market. The Nike Lebron XIVs cost $175, the Adidas Harden Vol 1.s cost $140, and the Under Armour Curry 3ZER0s cost $120. These lines of shoes have been designated to current NBA All-Stars, who will likely end their careers in the Hall of Fame. You can literally buy all 3 of these shoes for $435.00, which is $60.00 less than the BBB ZO2: Primes.
BBB selling Lonzo’s first shoe for that price is insulting to the consumer. The price is laughable in itself, but the kid hasn’t even played in his first NBA game yet. Most aren’t even sure where he’s going to land in the draft, because teams are completely turned off by Lavar Ball’s antics. Professional organizations don’t want the World’s Worst Little League Father showing up to practice and demanding more playtime for their kid. Lonzo Ball could definitely end up being a top talent in the NBA, but he could end up being an average to below average player. There’s really no way to know that until it happens. For Lonzo’s sake, I hope that his play can provide justification for the cost, but it’s far more likely that BBB will have to close shop within the first year. Also, $220.00 for a pair of flip flops? Come on, man!
There is a sucker born every minute, and you can bet that sporting a spanking new pair of unlaced Lonzo’s will soon become the latest urban rage.