There's no shortage of critics rooting against the success of Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball. Among them is former WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne, who insists she has nothing against Ball as a player, but wouldn't mind seeing his Big Baller Brand sneakers blow up on the court.
Last night, during Ball's Summer League debut against the Los Angeles Clippers, Delle Donne sent out a tweet expressing desire to see Ball's ZO2s blow out mid-game, adding that he should have signed a deal with the brand she endorses, Nike.
Did I just see a shoe malfunction?! I think sooooo!— Elena Delle Donne (@De11eDonne) July 8, 2017
Delle Donne took some heat for her tweets, though she felt it was an overreaction to what was intended as a joke about the sneakers. Some referenced Nike designer Jason Petrie's insensitive tweet about Derrick Rose's ACL injury in 2012, while others made inexcusable sexist remarks.
Let's get it straight people! I'm not talking about him getting hurt! Give me a break! I'm talking about his BBB shoe tearing.— Elena Delle Donne (@De11eDonne) July 8, 2017
I know I know everyone. Stay in my lane, I'm a woman. #sorrynotsorry— Elena Delle Donne (@De11eDonne) July 8, 2017
That kind of reaction to a woman expressing an opinion is never appropriate, but Delle Donne's initial tweet does raise the question of why more athletes aren't supportive of what the Ball family is trying to do. The easy answer is LaVar and his sometimes overbearing personality, but at worst, he's guilty of being a loudmouth who really believes in his children. Bigger picture, if Big Baller Brand succeeds, a precedent is set for young athletes being their own brand at the beginning of their careers. To date, Delle Donne has only been given a custom colorway of the Nike Hyperdunk 2016, while Ball already has a signature sneaker that the world is talking about. It would seem that more athletes would prefer to be in the position of the latter.