Lonzo Ball made his way into the NBA with a hype train unlike many others in the sport, spearheaded by his father, LaVar Ball, and the existence of his own brand of footwear and clothing in Big Baller Brand.

Ball had interest from brands like Nike and Adidas when starting out his career, but they were all ignored in negotiations in favor of his own brand. While the company went from selling $500 pairs of shoes to garage selling at wholesale prices, the New Orleans Pelicans new point guard does not regret wearing his Big Baller Brand shoes to start off his career:

“It was different, but at the same time, we were trying to build a brand,” Ball explained about his time coming out of UCLA and wearing his own shoes, according to Andrew Lopez of ESPN. “I had to wear them. But there was no way we could play in the shoes I had in summer league. There was no way they would make it to the NBA court.

“I’m grateful we got to link up with Brandblack for getting me a better shoe. … I played in Kobes my whole life, then switching it up at the last stage, it was different for me. But I don’t make excuses. I don’t regret anything I did.”

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The choice to wear his own signature shoe felt more of a sense of obligation than a sense of pride, and after seeing the lackluster craftsmanship of his own footwear, Lonzo was forced to switch them up for something that allowed him to be his best self on the court.

It’s unlikely that Ball will lace up anything Big Baller on or off the court from here on out with the Pelicans and beyond, as the company faces bankruptcy and as of now has no sense of rebounding from it after his father’s own delusion.