LaVar Ball Says Son Lonzo Isn't in Nike Contract Talks After Wearing Its Shoes

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2017

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 12:  Lonzo Ball #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers wears purple Nike Kobe A.D. sneakers during a 2017 Summer League game against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 12, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Los Angeles won 103-102. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

After Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball wore Nike shoes during a Las Vegas Summer League game Wednesday night, LaVar Ball said no negotiations are taking place with the company.

According to ESPN.com's Darren Rovell, the Ball family patriarch said the following via text regarding Lonzo's decision to wear Nike: "Lonzo is not forced to wear any brand and can play in any shoe he wants as long as it's OK with the NBA. This is what being independent is all about."

After wearing his signature Big Baller Brand ZO2 shoes in his first two games, Ball made the switch to the Nike Kobe A.D. on Wednesday.

Per Rovell, Lonzo similarly said on SportsCenter that he's free to wear any approved shoes of his choosing: "At BBB, you can play in what you want. I already played in both of my shoes, might as well get the 'Mamba Mentality' going. Put 'em on, and it worked out tonight."

The decision paid dividends for Ball as he racked up 36 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds, five steals and two blocks in a 103-102 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Ball has progressively improved in each of his outings. He shot just 2-of-15 from the field in his first game, followed that up with a triple-double and then dropped 36 points against the Sixers.

Rovell reported in April that Nike was among the companies to turn down an endorsement deal with Ball due to LaVar's desire to co-license with Big Baller Brand.