Lonzo Ball is a projected top-two pick in the upcoming NBA Draft but will not receive endorsement deals from Nike, Under Armour or adidas.
Ball has just finished his freshman season at UCLA and has become known largely thanks to his outspoken father, LaVar Ball.
The rejection from Nike, Under Armour and adidas makes Ball the first anticipated top draftee to be turned away by all three sneaker giants.
They did so because of Lonzo’s father, LaVar, who insisted the brand license his lifestyle brand Big Baller.
“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.”
LaVar is now saying he will reach out to Chinese brands like Peak, Li-Ning and Anta in an attempt to secure the deal he is looking for.
LaVar reportedly presented a draft shoe design to Nike, Under Armour and adidas during their meetings in hope that they would create what he envisioned to be Lonzo’s first sneaker.
LaVar Ball taking Lonzo Ball into the Crocs shoe deal meeting pic.twitter.com/g0a21f9dmB
— Kazual Lee (@NoLeeNoParty) April 28, 2017
Nike CEO, Phil Knight, said the company had interest in signing Lonzo in the past, but was wary of the asking price after LaVar threw around a $US 1-billion figure for a 10-year contract that also would cover his two other sons LiAngelo and LaMelo.
There’s no doubt Lonzo is doing well in his career with his rise to success but we wonder how he’d fair without dear old Dad.