The Ball family created yet another fire storm on Thursday when they unveiled Lonzo Ball’s first signature shoe under the family brand with a price tag of $US495.
The announcement of the ZO2 came one week after it was reported that Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas were spurning the younger Ball as a potential athlete endorser due to LaVar’s rejection of a traditional endorsement deal and demand that their Big Baller Brand become co-branded with one of the athletic shoe giants.
On Friday, LaVar was a guest on “The Dan Le Batard Show,” and was asked why they decided to charge $US495 for the shoes. In typical LaVar fashion, his answer was part confidence, part funny, part simplicity, and a whole lot of boisterous.
“I figured that’s what the shoe was worth,” Ball told Le Batard. “I liked the way it sounds. You see, when you are your own owner, you can come up with any price you want.”
LaVar went on to explain that he is not in competition with Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour. In fact, he went so far as to say they are battling below Big Baller Brand.
“Let Nike and Adidas and Under Armour, they battling below me,” Ball said. “They will go ahead and put all their stuff in Foot Locker. I’m better than them. I’m a step above.”
As for why the shoe was specifically priced at $US495 and not, say, $US500, Ball once again acted like the question was a bit absurd.
“$US500?! $US495 sounds better,” Ball said. “I like three different digits.”
LaVar further defended the price of the shoe by saying it is “symbolic,” noting that his son is the first basketball player to have his own brand before entering the NBA. He also explained that there is some value in knowing that his son designed “all of it,” something the other shoe companies are not allowing rookies to do.
You can see LaVar Ball’s comments here:
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