LaVar Ball is back, baby.
Actually, it’s the Big Baller Brand website that has returned after a hiatus of nearly a year. With it comes the reemergence of Ball, the company’s chief executive and father of basketball’s Ball brothers, yelling at us from our computer and smartphone screens as if it was 2017.
“The Big Baller has come back, and guess what?” Ball says in an ad seemingly straight from ‘80s late-night TV. “We got the best merch in the game!”
That last part might be greeted with a bit of skepticism. The company launched in 2016 and released its marquee item, the ZO2 sneakers — the signature shoes of former Laker and current New Orleans Pelican Lonzo Ball — in late 2017 for the mere asking price of $495.
But according to their namesake, the shoes were garbage.
“Them ZO2s I was playing in, they was not ready,” Lonzo Ball said in September. “If you literally have those shoes from those games, they’re exploded. 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.”
The company quickly fell on hard times, allegedly missing payments to a manufacturer and receiving a failing grade from the Better Business Bureau. In April, BBB (the sportswear brand, not the business watchdog group) and Lonzo Ball accused company co-founder Gregory Alan Foster of fraud and breach of fiduciary duties in a lawsuit seeking more than $2 million in damages.
But now BBB has relaunched with a new website that will feature more than 48 new products, according to a news release.
And, yes, the ZO2s are among those products, although they’re less expensive this time (all under $200) and available in several designs (including a sweet one that kind of resembles the Partridge Family bus). Hopefully no explosions this time.
The relaunch comes several months before the 2020 NBA draft, where youngest Ball brother LaMelo is expected to garner plenty of interest.