Lonzo Ball put on one of the greatest performances in the history of the NBA summer league on Wednesday—and he somehow managed to do it without the aid of his exorbitantly priced $495 Big Baller Brand shoes.
Instead of his signature ZO2s, Ball wore purple Kobe Bryant ADs, a fact that LeBron James, who was on hand for part of the game, was quick to point out.
“He can really pass it,” James said of the rookie out of UCLA. James once had to warn Lonzo’s father, LaVar Ball, to “keep [James’] kids’ name out of his mouth.”
Ball finished with 36 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds, and five assists in a 103-102 win over the Philadelphia 76ers for one of the best individual games in recorded summer league memory.
Lonzo Ball had 36 points and 11 assists. Before tonight, no player in RealGM’s summer league database (since 2004) had a 30-10 assist game.
— Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) July 13, 2017
“Um, you know, Mamba mentality,” Ball said when asked why he wore Nike instead of Big Baller Brand. “Thought I’d switch it up. […] Like I said, you can wear whatever you want when you play with Big Baller Brand … and it is just nice to get out there and do that.”
Ball said his performance wasn’t inspired by the presence of LeBron, whom the rookie calls his favorite player. Back on Friday, LaVar said that if LeBron were to join the Lakers as a free agent in 2018, he’d win a championship alongside LaVar’s son.
“Heck yeah!” LaVar said. “Lonzo and LeBron? Come on man! That’s real deal. You don’t want to give him the best player in the world. You don’t want to give Lonzo the best player in the world and don’t get no championship? Shoot.”