Nike, Under Armour and adidas all turned down shoe endorsement deals with Lonzo Ball.
Their decisions had nothing to do with his talent and everything to do with the insistence of LaVar, Lonzo's outspoken father, that the companies license his Big Baller Brand to create the shoe. Essentially, LaVar wanted Lonzo's signature shoe to be a joint creation between his Big Baller Brand and one of the three prestigious brands. The brands said no.
Now, it appears that Lonzo's first shoe will be created indepently by Big Baller Brand. SLAM revealed the shoe earlier today in an exclusive video:
The shoe—which is dubbed the "ZO2"—has apparently been in the works for the past few months. From Big Baller Brand's official website: "The ZO2 represents the natural evolution of athletic culture. The ZO2 is the embodiment of countless hours of dedication and hard work on and off the court. Lonzo Ball and Big Baller Brand are on a journey to change the game forever."
The internet quickly noticed similarities between the ZO2 and past iterations of Nike's Kobe Bryant signature shoes:
Even if you like the shoes (most of Twitter is currently roasting them to a crisp), the ZO2 retails at $495. Yep, you read that right. For comparison, Kyrie Irving's latest signature shoe—the Nike Kyrie 3—retails for $120.
The price climbs even higher if you want a pair of the ZO2: Wet editions, which feature Lonzo's autograph and are shipped in a special LED-illuminated case. Those will set you back $995.
How many people will be willing to shell out a small fortune for Lonzo's first signature shoe? Only time will tell.