Lonzo Ball has been trying to send a message to shoe companies throughout the Las Vegas Summer League. In his last three games, he has played in a different brand of shoe, and the results have been solid. He scored 36 points in Nikes, dropped a triple-double in Adidas, and had a do-everything type game in Under Armour.
Lonzo’s father, LaVar, confirmed to ESPN that the last three games have been a message to companies on what they can have while still affirming their Big Baller Brand is worth $1 billion.
“It’s making a statement to the brands of what they could have had with an open mind,” Ball said via text message. “The players are the brand ambassadors. The brand is nothing without the players.”
Asked whether there is still a chance for a big shoe brand to sign his son, LaVar responded: “If the price is right. Quite frankly we are officially in the shoe game, and are a billion-dollar brand either way.”
The Balls made noise when they revealed Lonzo’s plans on playing in his own Big Baller Brand shoes. LaVar wants to sublicense products from their brand to one of the shoe giants.
The plan to make $1 billion dollars from a sublicense seems unlikely, but ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports that Ball could receive a higher shoe deal than what he was initially offered.
Industry sources said the traditional companies have offered Lonzo Ball deals in the range of $1.5 million per year. Playing on the Lakers, plus the power of his holdout, could boost that to over $2 million per year.
Summer league at this point can sometimes drag on a little, but the nightly questions of what brand Lonzo Ball will be wearing for each game have at least provided a fun storyline. It probably isn’t going to get him much more money than he was going to receive as the second overall pick on the Lakers, but it was worth a shot. Maybe in the semifinals he’ll come out with New Balance and then win the tournament in Starburys.