Lonzo Ball is no longer part of Big Baller Brand and has joined Nike. He now seems to feel some freedom to speak honestly about the products he and his father LaVar were offering, including their high-priced shoes that sold for nearly $500.
Ball, who was traded by the Los Angeles Lakers to the New Orleans Pelicans over the summer, joined teammate Josh Hart’s “LightHarted Podcast” for an interview. The two talked about Ball’s ZO2 Prime shoes.
“No one knows the real story about those shoes. They were not ready,” Ball admitted to Hart.
Ball said the shoes were so problematic that he switched pairs several times a game.
“I can get a quarter in, but that’s it. We got to switch them every quarter,” Ball said. “If you had my shoes from those games, they exploded bro.”
The shoes were so problematic that BBB switched to selling ZO2 Prime Remix shoes instead. Lonzo even seemed to suggest that his play suffered from wearing the original sneakers.
Klay Thompson’s shoe company Anta is celebrating their client’s max contract with the Golden State Warriors by releasing a special edition sneaker.
ESPN/Nice Kicks sneaker reporter Nick DePaula shared on Twitter Monday that Anta is collaborating with the East Bay Times on the Anta KT4s, a special edition shoe that features newspaper clippings on it. The shoe references Thompson’s habit of reading the newspaper at his locker before games.
Klay Thompson is celebrating his new @Warriors Max deal with a special edition sneaker drop this weekend, highlighting his pre-game locker ritual of reading the newspaper.
Thompson received a five-year, $190 million max contract from the Golden State Warriors, the team that drafted him in 2011. He will be recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL suffered in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Raptors.
Thompson has averaged 19.5 points on 45.9 percent shooting for his career. He is a career 41.9 percent 3-point shooter and has been especially clutch in the playoffs for the Dubs.
It didn’t take long for them to be the subject of speculation on social media. Some wondered if the shoes were a product of Lillard’s relationship with television streaming service Hulu, whose logo is green.
Lillard has appeared in an ad campaign for Hulu advertising their live sports. He even has an ad for that on his Twitter banner. Another possible inspiration for the shoes? He mentions “bright” in his Twitter bio.
“They say the truth shall come to the light…so everybody grab ya shades cuz ya boy that bright.”
Williamson previously wore the Nike PG 2.5 PE, which is the Paul George shoe. He was wearing that model when his shoe tore apart in the first minute of Duke’s game against North Carolina on Feb. 20. Williamson missed the remainder of the regular season and is returning to action in the conference tournament.
i usually wouldn’t implore you to buy the paper for an ad, but you’ll never see shade like [squints] skechers is throwing at nike on page 3 of tomorrow’s nyt sports section again pic.twitter.com/wu9tQGacrf
One of the worst public relations nightmares in Nike’s history occurred during Wednesday night’s game between Duke and North Carolina, and the sports apparel juggernaut is working hard to remedy the situation.
Just over 30 seconds into the game, freshman superstar Zion Williamson was forced to exit with a knee injury after his shoe literally fell apart. Williamson is the best player in the country and is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft, so the equipment malfunction could not have happened in a worse situation.
After UNC’s 88-72 win over the Blue Devils, Nike issued a statement about the broken shoe. A spokesperson wished Williamson a speedy recovery and said the manufacturer is working to identify the cause of the “isolated incident.”
“We are obviously concerned and want to wish Zion a speedy recovery. The quality and performance of our products are of utmost importance. While this is an isolated occurrence, we are working to identify the issue.”
Isolated or not, the situation is a horrible look for Nike. Williamson is fortunate to have only suffered a knee sprain, though it is unclear how much time he will miss. The freshman has already been urged by some former NBA players to sit out to protect himself from injury, but no one envisioned his footwear being the issue.
Nike’s worst nightmare occurred on Wednesday night.
In the first minute of the high-profile Duke-North Carolina game, Blue Devils star Zion Williamson exited with an injury after his shoe broke. Williamson was wearing the Nike PG 2.5 PE, and the shoe literally fell apart, resulting in a knee injury.
This is the biggest stage in college basketball and the biggest star in the sport, and to have the equipment fall apart and cause an injury could not have been a worse turn of events for the Swoosh. Instantly, people pounced.
Boston Celtics guard Terry Rozier said Williamson/Duke should join Puma, a new brand in the basketball shoe market.
Brad Stevens jokingly had pretty high expectations for Nike’s new self-lacing, “smart” shoes.
During Wednesday’s game between the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors, Jayson Tatum wore Nike’s new Adapt BB shoes, which can be loosened or tightened by manual touch or by using the Nike Adapt app on a smartphone.
Jayson Tatum set to debut the new auto-lacing Nike Adapt BB here in Boston — what’s everyone think of the $350 smart shoe?? pic.twitter.com/WSgxkUoo9i
Tatum was among the group of athletes to put the shoes through rigorous tests at Nike’s world headquarters. During Boston’s 117-108 victory, Tatum scored 16 points on 6-of-16 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds. It had to be the shoes.
Nike has unveiled a new version of the Kevin Durant 10 shoes that seems to be a response to his haters.
On Friday, the “Red Velvet” version of the KDX shoe will go on sale on Nike’s website.
Here is Nike’s description of the shoe:
“With a style of play as smooth as velvet, KD is known for having the most fluid game in the game today. Effortlessly making defenders look helpless, always ready to cook his next victim. He dominates the game with unrivaled versatility, forever motivated by the sweet taste of victory. At the end of the day, winning is all that matters and anything else is just icing on the cake. The KDX ‘Red Velvet’ celebrates the smoothest player in the game and his undying quest for the sweet taste of victory.”
Sure, that’s one way to tie together the cupcake theme with Durant, but those who follow the NBA know there’s something else to the cupcake theme.