Just weeks before the NBA Draft, projected lottery pick Lonzo Ball is still without a major sneaker endorsement.
Naturally, fingers are being pointed at his outspoken father LaVar Ball. Father Ball has let it be known that he wants a billion-dollar deal for all three of his basketball player sons. He’s also said that he isn’t interested in a traditional endorsement deal. Instead, he wants a partnership with any major shoe company looking to recruit his boys.
While he has been laughed at for his demands, and even called “the worst thing to happen to basketball,” he is sticking to them. So much that the three major brands have all decided to move on from trying to sign Lonzo.
ESPN reports that Nike, Under Armour and Adidas, have all decided to pass on Ball. Mainly because they aren’t interested is doing things Ball’s way. But Ball remains undeterred.
“We’ve said from the beginning, we aren’t looking for an endorsement deal,” LaVar told ESPN. “We’re looking for co-branding, a true partner. But they’re not ready for that because they’re not used to that model. But hey, the taxi industry wasn’t ready for Uber, either.”
Ball insists that he has plenty of options including Chinese brands like Peak, Li-Ning and Anta. He also says that he already has a prototype for Lonzo’s sneakers that he already presented to Nike, Under Armour and Adidas.
“We’re not going to sign with a company and then wait around for five or six years for shoe like Paul George had to wait for with Nike,” Ball said.
He added that he’s been working on the prototype since Lonzo was born.
While Ball’s vision is respectable, many are clowning his steadfastness.