Lonzo Ball says he played in defective shoes to promote Big Baller Brand

Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Lonzo Ball entered the NBA with a ton of attention – because he was the No. 2 overall pick, because he played for the Lakers and because LaVar Ball hunted publicity.

And because Lonzo had his own very expensive signature shoe.

LaVar was the face of Big Baller Brand, but Lonzo was so important to the company’s viability. Lonzo could prove its shoes were actually good enough for elite basketball players.

There was plenty of contradictory evidence, though. Lonzo frequently wore other brands’ shoes. He also hurt his ankle multiple times. The Lakers even asked him whether his Big Ball Brand shoes contributed to his injuries. Lonzo denied it.

But now he’s revealing how he and his manager, Darren Moore, concealed the truth.

Ball on LightHarted Podcast:

Them ZO2s I was playing in, they was not ready.

No one knows this, but D-Mo had a backpack, and he had like an extra four pairs of shoes in there, because I had to switch them every quarter, because they would just rip.

I’m like, “Yo, I’m not playing in them shoes.” Like, “I don’t care bro.”

Because they’re my shoes. I had to debut them. We went so far with it.

I’m like, “Cool, I can get a quarter in. But that’s it. We’ve got to switch them every quarter.” And nobody noticed. And by the end of that quarter, they were beat up. And it’s crazy, right when I switched my shoes, then all of a sudden magically I got good again.

Lonzo also reportedly nearly underwent unauthorized surgery, a procedure planned by former business partner Alan Foster and approved by LaVar.

It seems too few people have had Lonzo’s best interests at heart.

Hopefully, that’s changing.

Now with the Pelicans, Lonzo could still have a bright future in the NBA. It’s just important he stays healthy. Safe shoes and proper medical advice would be a good start.