As a Nike endorser and staunch supporter of the brand, one would expect retired Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant to not be too keen on Lonzo Ball's Big Baller Brand startup sneaker business. In a new interview with CNBC, Bryant doesn't totally disagree with Ball's approach, but suggests that he doesn't believe in the product.
"It's not good enough to have a shoe and launch a shoe," Bryant says. "In that market, in that business, you have to make sure the product is there. That's the only way you can challenge the big guys, is if the innovation and the quality of the product is there."
Big Baller Brand's sneakers have lacked in innovation so far—the first (now-scrapped) shoe for Lonzo Ball had what looked like a knockoff Boost sole, and LaMelo Ball's signature silhouette is essentially an exact copy of a BrandBlack shoe.
Bryant goes on to say that he supports the desire to want to do things one's own way, which has very much been the goal of the Ball family from the start.