Back in the summer of 2017, Lonzo Ball began his professional career in his family's own Big Baller Brand sneakers. The then-Lakers rookie made his debut during Summer League action laced in the controversial $495 Big Baller Brand ZO2. But it wasn't long before Ball gave those a rest, later experimenting with other brands like Adidas, Jordan Brand, Nike, and Under Armour. That version of the ZO2 ultimately never released, and now we're getting a better understand as to why the shoes were scrapped.
"No one knows the real story about them shoes though," Ball said in a new episode of the LightHearted Podcast. "Them ZO2s I was playing in, they was not ready. No one knows this, but [Darren Moore, Ball's manager] had a backpack, and he had an extra like four pairs of shoes in there because I had to switch them every quarter, because they would just rip."
"I had to debut them. We went so far with it, it was like, cool, I can get a quarter in, but that's it. And it's crazy, because right when I switched my shoes, all of a sudden, magically I got good again," Ball said.
While Big Baller Brand has had ongoing troubles in the years since, this is the first time Lonzo has come clean about the sneaker's defects. At the time, LaVar Ball gave a different reason for Lonzo's sneaker choices, insinuating his son was looking to start a bidding war between brands. The ZO2 was eventually replaced with the ZO2 Prime Remix after Big Baller Brand sought out the help of Brandblack.