Last night, the Sneaker of the Year panel was held at ComplexCon in Long Beach, California, and it was hosted by Joe La Puma and featured DJ Clark Kent, Russ Bengtson, Wale, Victor Cruz, Jay Balvin, Aleali May -- and Lonzo Ball. Ball's signature sneaker from Big Baller Brand did not make the top 10 list, which was decided upon by the panel, but it did get talked about during the event.
The reaction to the shoe was mixed. Wale and DJ Clark Kent both agreed that it's spectacular that Ball and his family has been able to launch their own sneaker brand, and Wale went as far to say that if he was a 19-year-old basketball player, he'd like to wear the ZO2, Ball's shoe.
But when it came to how the shoe looks, Clark Kent and Wale had strong opinions. "In my eyes, this is a take-up of a Brand Black shoe, but it's a takedown of a Kobe," Clark Kent said. "The most important thing about it is that it's their own brand. You don't have to like it, but you have to respect the thought of it."
Wale went on to add, "Are they anywhere in the realm of top 30, 40, 50 of the year? Fuck no."
Ball admitted that Big Baller Brand had a shortened time table to put the sneaker out, and it resulted in Brand Black, which is financed by Skechers, to help make their sneakers.
The sneaker of the year award was given to the Off-White x Air Jordan 1.