The Lakers have maintained a longstanding belief that Lonzo Ball’s injuries can be attributed to his own signature shoes during the initial phase of his career.
Privately, members of the Chicago Bulls organization have concerns that Lonzo Ball might not make a return to professional basketball. Ball’s initial team, the Los Angeles Lakers, has developed a theory about the underlying cause of his recurrent injuries.
Ever since the beginning of his career, Ball has been grappling with persistent leg and ankle issues. The most severe instance was when he had to sit out the entire 2022-2023 season due to these problems.
Furthermore, he has only managed to participate in over 60 games in a single season once throughout his six-year career. Remarkably, at just 25 years old, he has already undergone three separate knee surgeries. His knee discomfort was once so debilitating that it hindered his ability to climb stairs.
The Lakers attribute the strain on his knees to one factor: his signature sneakers from the Big Baller Brand, known as Zo2. Back in 2019, an article by ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Paula Lavigne revealed that Ball acknowledged the Lakers’ concerns about his footwear.
He indicated a willingness to make “minor adjustments” to his shoes if required. In May 2023, Fox Sports radio host Doug Gottlieb tweeted that the Lakers had long believed Ball’s injuries were a result of his choice of shoes.
Lakers believe his initial injury, was caused by his shoes. BBB were complete trash, no R&D like Nikes, just thrown together. Sad, because Zo can really play https://t.co/CxFHyKdx2Q
— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) May 28, 2023
What were the issues with the Big Baller Brand sneakers?
Ball achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first non-professional athlete to have a signature shoe. The Zo2 was introduced at a retail price of $495 and made its debut during Ball’s inaugural Summer League game.
However, it was evident that the entire production process of the sneakers was hurried to align with Ball’s rapid ascent to fame.
During an interview on Josh Hart’s LightHarted podcast three years later, Ball disclosed that the shoes were never adequately prepared and he had to switch them every quarter due to constant tearing:
“The Zo2s I was wearing weren’t actually ready; I had to change them every quarter because they would just rip,” Ball stated.