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Volume 25 No. 152
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Lonzo Ball Sports Nikes Again In Preseason Instead Of Big Baller

Wearing Nike shoes during the preseason likely doesn't signal a move away from Big Baller Brand for Ball
Photo: NBAE/GETTY IMAGES

Lakers G Lonzo Ball in his only two preseason games this year "took the court wearing Nike Kobe AD sneakers," as he has "yet to wear his signature Big Baller Brand shoes with the Lakers since the end of last season," according to Andrew Joseph of USA TODAY. This "likely doesn't signal a move away from Big Baller Brand" for him. Earlier last week, Brandblack Founder & Designer David Raysse, whose company designs the BBB shoes, "posted a look" at Ball's "upcoming signature shoe" on Instagram. While Ball's reluctance to wear his own $500 BBB shoes could "seem like an indictment of Big Baller Brand’s quality, LaVar Ball previously claimed that Lonzo wore other stars’ signature shoes out of spite to competing brands." However, for a player coming off an injury-plagued rookie season, it "would have made sense for Big Baller Brand to have Lonzo test the shoe in game action before the regular season" (USATODAY.com, 10/14). FS1’s Jason Whitlock said Big Baller Brand “is dead." Whitlock referenced LaVar Ball when he said, "This dude came out, ‘We’re going to take on Nike, we’re going to take on Adidas, we’re going to take on everybody.’ And his own son won’t wear his own damn shoes.” FS1’s Marcellus Wiley defended Lonzo Ball and said, “You can’t wear your stuff every day. Sometimes you want to switch it up.” But Whitlock replied, “Your first game of the year with LeBron James, playing in Las Vegas -- they had a record number of preseason viewers. But I’m going to rock somebody else’s (shoes)?” (“Speak For Yourself,” FS1, 10/11).

BALL CONTROL: USA TODAY's Nick Schwartz noted Lonzo Ball "added a ton of artwork to his arms" this offseason, but in his first preseason game, he had to "play with tape covering one of his new tattoos" because it includes a BBB logo. NBAers are "prohibited from 'displaying any commercial logos or corporate insignia on their body or in their hair.'" The NBA informed Ball of the rule and he "chose to wear tape instead of taking the fine" (USATODAY.com, 10/12). YAHOO SPORTS' Chris Cwik noted Ball "hasn't commented on the issue, and may keep quiet moving forward." Cavaliers G J.R. Smith was also forced to cover up a Supreme tattoo on his leg, but he said that he "planned to speak with the league regarding their decision" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 10/11).