LaVar Ball says Lonzo is not in talks with Nike

Los Angeles Lakers' Lonzo Ball shoots over Los Angeles Clippers' Brice Johnson (10) during overtime of an NBA summer league basketball game, Friday, July 7, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Lochner/Associated Press

LaVar Ball said that his son, Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, is not in talks with the Nike company in spite of wearing Nike shoes during the Lakers’ Summer League game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night, according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com.

“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,” said LaVar in a text to ESPN on Thursday morning. “This is what being independent is all about.”

Lonzo put forth a monster performance against the 76ers, posting 36 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds, five steals and two blocks in a 103-102 win.

“At BBB, you can play in what you want,” Lonzo told SportsCenter after the game. “I already played in both of my shoes, might as well get the ‘Mamba Mentality’ going. Put ’em on, and it worked out tonight.”

Lonzo was wearing the Kobe A.D.s, which hit the shelves back on July 1.

LaVar added that there are “no negotiations with Nike” at this time.

The Lakers chose Ball with the No. 2 overall pick of the NBA Draft last month.

The 19-year-old Chino Hills, Ca. native played one year of college basketball at UCLA before being drafted.

Prior to the draft, LaVar talked to major shoe companies and asked for $1 billion while requiring them to license the Big Baller Brand. LaVar said the price increased to $3 billion after Los Angeles ended up with the second pick.

Lonzo has already played in three Summer League games and has improved with each contest.

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