There’s an iconic episode of The Simpsons (“The Joy Of Sect”) where the gullible townspeople of Springfield fall under the spell of some charlatan authority figure and blindly surrender their property and assets to this supreme being, in search of experiencing true happiness in life.
And in comical fashion (duh), Homer Simpson eventually becomes the voice of reason, proving to the brainwashed masses that The Leader’s Movementarian cause — supposedly promising a spaceship ride to the planet Utopia — had been built on a foundation of lies and schemes.
Fast forward to the present: If you were naive enough to purchase a pair of Big Baller Brand basketball shoes from 2017-19, especially the ZO2 models which sold for $495, then perhaps you require more life lessons from Homer J. Simpson.
On Josh Hart’s LightHarted podcast last week, New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball — also the son of Big Ballers Brand founder LaVar Ball — revealed his ZO2 shoes often crumbled after one quarter of court activity, a stunning admission which could be the final death blow in the Big Baller saga.
“Them ZO2s I was playing in, they was not ready. If you literally have those shoes from those games, they’re exploded,” conceded Lonzo Ball on the podcast (hat tip to Footwear News). “I’m like, ‘Cool, I can get a quarter in, but that’s it.’ 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.”
Using Lonzo Ball’s “cool” logic, the average basketball consumer would need to purchase four different pairs of ZO2 shoes — a princely sum of $1,980 — just to survive a two-hour stint on the court.
That’s an absurd statement to proffer … considering my Air Jordans and Converse Weapons from the 1980s and 90s are still in relatively good condition in my storage bin.
(According to the Los Angeles Times,only 500 pairs of the ZO2 shoes were purchased in its first week two years ago … and it would be wise to assume the numbers have dwindled closer to zero units sold in the subsequent months.)
Which brings us to this: Remember how LaVar Ball kept promising that Big Baller Brand would change the sports landscape?
Heck, for a two-year window (coinciding with Lonzo’s time with UCLA and the Los Angeles Lakers), big Ball made more TV appearances on ESPN and FOX than any other non-employee, creating the myth this fast-talking, anger-baiting persona had the business chops to back up his boastful claims.
But alas, that’s not how things worked out for elder Ball. The Big Baller Brand Web site hasn’t been operational since April, and Lonzo Ball has severed all business ties with apparel company.
There’s even a lawsuit against BBB co-founder, Alan Foster, who allegedly usurped approximately $1.5 million from Lonzo Ball’s personal and business accounts.
On the bright side, Big Baller Brand can use this time away from the spotlight to hire more people for its Research and Development team.
Perhaps the next signature shoe will come with the promise of two full quarters of activity … before crumbling into unrecognizable pieces.