"Thought I'd switch it up", Ball said last night, via SB Nation Lakers blog Silver Screen and Roll.
LeBron did, however, take a subtle jab at Ball's Big Baller Brand shoes via social media. "It's just nice to get out there and do that". Ball ended with 36 points, 11 assists, 8 rebounds, and 5 steals while going 9-for-12 from inside the arc. He also noticed that the former UCLA standout ditched his Big Baller Brand shoes, choosing a pair of Nike Kobe Bryant Mamba Instincts. Lonzo wore the ZO2's in the previous two games he played, but missed the third game after an apparent groin injury. But people flock the Cox Pavilion and Thomas and Mack Center to see Lonzo play.
In April, LaVar Ball confirmed to ESPN that Nike, Adidas and Under Armour all informed him they were not interested in signing a deal with his son, Lonzo Ball. Moments later, he took the court wearing the "Black and Sheen" Air Jordan 31 Low. But he still hadn't played in them. Summer League contests are only 40 minutes rather than the NBA-standard 48 minutes. Days later, the first Big Baller Brand shoes launched on the company website. "I saw him right under the basket". And he did it all while wearing a pair of Nike Kobe ADs.
Somewhere out there, LaVar Ball is laughing, yapping his way to the bank.
Especially LeBron James, who was sitting courtside in Vegas. The Mavs also hoped first-round draft pick Dennis Smith Jr. could bounce back after a 1-of-6 shooting performance in Saturday's win, setting the stage for his head-to-head matchup against No. 2 overall pick Lonzo Ball at the point guard position.More news: McConnell defers action on health care vote
"The Lakers, when they were bringing their teams there was a ton of excitement anyhow", said Warren LeGarie, an agent who helped create Las Vegas Summer League.
Ball's emergence in summer league has excited the Lakers' coaching staff and those watching from courtside seats, including Lakers head coach Luke Walton and assistant Jesse Mermuys. Ball's dud of a debut is long forgotten.
"It's making a statement to the brands of what they could have had with an open mind", Ball said in a text message to ESPN's Darren Rovell.
Ball will sport the ZO2s again.