Remember the Big Baller Brand shoes that LaVar Ball unveiled a couple of years ago? They were supposed to revolutionize the show industry and give Nike and other shoe companies a run for their money. They then went on to sell about three pairs of shoes, and we haven’t heard much about them since.
Lonzo Ball appeared on Josh Hart’s LightHarted Podcast on Wednesday and said the shoes were not made well.
Ball began wearing the sneakers, called the ZO2, in the 2017 Summer League and said they were so badly made they would fall apart after just one quarter.
“Them ZO2s I was playing in, they was not ready. If you literally have those shoes from those games, they’re exploded,” Lonzo Ball said. “We [had to] switch them every quarter. And it’s crazy because right when I’d switch my shoes, and then all of a sudden I got good again,” he continued.
The ZO2 were retail priced at $495, so if you needed them for a game, you had to buy four pair, one for each quarter. That would set you back $1,980 a game. That’s just barely out of the price range for most rec league players.
Send in the next guy
The Boston Red Sox, 5 1/2 games out of a wild-card spot before Thursday’s games, have found a novel approach to make up that gap: Use as many pitchers as possible.
Thanks to expanded rosters, the Red Sox now have 17 pitchers in their bullpen. Added to their four starting pitchers, that means they currently have 21 pitchers on their active roster.
Manager Alex Cora told the Associated Press that “we’re going winter ball style. Games, instead of going four hours are going five hours. Our starters are not giving us enough... We need outs... We’re not waving a white flag. We’re going to keep on pushing.”
The 17 pitchers in the bullpen: Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier, Colten Brewer, Andrew Cashner, Jhoulys Chacin, Trevor Kelley, Travis Lakins, Mike Shawaryn, Josh Smith, Hector Velazquez, Marcus Walden, Ryan Weber, Brandon Workman, Darwinzon Hernandez, Brian Johnson, Bobby Poyner and Josh Taylor.
Most teams carry about 16 pitchers in September. The Dodgers currently have 17 pitchers.
But don’t worry about another team copying this strategy if it works. Starting next season, teams will be limited to a 28-man roster after Sept. 1.