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Big Baller Brand introduces Lonzo Ball shoe, the ZO2, which sells for $495. Shaq unimpressed.

Lonzo Ball, LaVar Ball

FILE - In this Saturday, March 4, 2017, file photo, UCLA guard Lonzo Ball, right, walks away after hugging his father, LaVar, following the team’s NCAA college basketball game against Washington State in Los Angeles. The UCLA freshman point guard has been one of college basketball’s best players and could be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft. He’s kept up his high-level of play over the past month as his father, LaVar, has become more vocal in the media. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)


Yes, you read that headline right.

If there’s really no such thing as bad publicity, then LaVar Ball is a marketing genius. A year ago his son was a highly sought after high school senior known only to recruitniks, today we are all talking about Lonzo Ball’s signature shoes and where he lands in the draft.

Yes, signature shoe — at a price point of $495. Yes, more than the most expensive Jordans. For an undrafted rookie some scouts think will be a slightly above average starting point guard in the NBA (to be fair, others are much higher). So you can imagine how Twitter reacted, since it already enjoys mocking LaVar and his “marketing” efforts.

Here are the shoes.

This is my personal favorite new part of the brand.

I’m not enough of a sneakerhead to say if these look a lot like recent Kobe’s, but I do know Ball can wear these in games. Also, teams are not shying away from drafting Ball because of his father, they see that as a distraction they can deal with.

Bart Simpson once said of emo music “making teenagers depressed is like shooting fish in a barrel,” I feel the same way about mocking LaVar Ball. He’s getting his own shoe made for his son, which is something, even if he is doing so in the most tone-deaf possible of ways. But I don’t even need to mock him, there was plenty of criticism online, with Shaq at the front of the class.