The saga of LaVar Ball pitching sneaker companies on his three sons -- Lonzo, LiAngelo, and LaMelo -- and their Big Baller Brand for a whopping $1 billion is well-documented. He’s reportedly been turned down, but the company is still forging ahead, and recently unveiled its first sneaker, the ZO2. Everyone’s talking about the shoe—and not just because it heavily borrows its looks from Adidas, with a faux-Boost midsole, and Kobe Bryant’s line with Nike, but because of its $495 price tag. That makes it the highest-priced signature basketball sneaker on the market right now, and there are mixed opinions in the sneaker community the Balls making their own shoe and how they’re choosing to market it.
Some sneaker and sports enthusiasts are applauding the Ball family for making their own shoe after the major footwear companies turned down their proposal of having their own offshoot brand. Others are criticizing them for charging $500 for the sneakers. Some think the brand’s name is lame, and there’s been a lot of talk on LaVar’s public persona and the way he’s chosen to market his sons and the sneaker.
We’ve reached out to several sneaker industry insiders to find our their thoughts. Here’s what they had to say.
(Additional reporting by Russ Bengtson)