May 18 (UPI) — When Lonzo Ball’s signature shoes debuted, many balked at the high price. But his father, LaVar Ball, says he’s sold 400 to 500 pairs of the kicks.
He appeared on FS1’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd on Wednesday, where he had no shortage of hot takes, per usual. He discussed the success of Big Baller Brand, an apparel company run by his family and supportive of his future NBA lottery pick son Lonzo Ball.
The ZO2 Primes debuted on May 4 for $ 495. LaVar Ball told Cowherd that he hasn’t had trouble selling the pricey product.
Cowherd immediately asked how many pairs of his son’s shoes have been sold.
“Yeah, I’ve sold a good amount to me,” LaVar Ball responded. “Like I said, there is different amounts.”
When Cowherd’s co-host Kristine Leahy asked how many, he said, “Stay in your lane.”
“I don’t even worry about her over there. She scares me to death…leave me alone,” Ball said to Leahy.
“I’ll tell you, 400 to 500 pair,” Ball told Cowherd.
Ball continued to get into a back-and-forth with Leahy, saying that she is a “hater.”
Leahy said, “In order to have a successful company, you are going to have to have women that like your brand.”
“Yeah, if you have a women’s company,” Ball replied, adding that he doesn’t agree that the company needs to appeal to women if it wanted to work with Nike, Adidas or Under Armour.
“I don’t agree with her,” Ball said.
He went on to joke about Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock’s weight.
“So you disrespect women and people for their weight,” Leahy said.
“I never disrespect women,” Ball said. “But I’ll tell you what, if you act like that, guess what? Something’s coming to you, and it’s OK.”
Leahy responded to Ball’s comments on Speak for Yourself.
“You can’t come at me, and disrespect me, and not look me in the eye, and threaten me. That’s not OK,” Leahy said.
The Big Baller Brand has a “Womens” and “Kids” section on its website. The women’s section has nine t-shirts for sale for $ 40 to $ 50.
Lonzo Ball has been projected as the No. 2 or No. 3 pick in the NBA Draft for months. But the former UCLA freshman will only work out for the Los Angeles Lakers, according to his dad. The Lakers hold the No. 2 pick after Wednesday’s lottery. The draft is planned for June 22.
“That’s all we working out for is the Lakers,” LaVar Ball said in an exclusive interview with Lakers Nation. “Just the Lakers. There’s nobody else that we need to work out for.”
Lonzo Ball’s two younger brothers, LaMelo and LiAngelo, are also expected to join UCLA and possibly reach the NBA level.
Lonzo Ball, 19, was an All-American in his only season playing for the Bruins. He averaged 14.6 points, 7.6 assists and six rebounds per game in 36 college contests. But he shrank in the Bruins’ biggest game of the season, scoring just 10 points in its Sweet Sixteen loss on March 24 to the Kentucky Wildcats.
On April 20, Nike consultant George Raveling called LaVar Ball “the worst thing to happen to basketball in the last hundred years.” He made the comments at SportsBusiness Journal’s World Congress of Sports. LaVar Ball once told USA Today that he wanted to package his three sons in a marketing deal to the major sports apparel brands for $ 1 billion. He told Cowherd Wednesday that he would now seek $ 3 billion from the sports apparel behemoths.
Nike had $ 8.2 billion in fourth quarter revenue and $ 32.4 billion in fiscal revenue in 2016.
In 2015, USA Today reported that Nike’s women’s sales grew 20 percent in the fiscal year, twice the rate of its men’s business, which grew 9 percent.
Adidas told CNN Money in April that the company is altering how it “talks to women” with its marketing.
“We haven’t been very effective in how we’ve talked to women, the way we’ve designed products for women, the way we’ve taken products to market,” Mark King, president of Adidas North America, told CNN Money.
“We’re asking you what do you like and what are we doing wrong and what should we be. We’re constructing things based on consumer feedback,” King said. “I think the brands that do that the best will be the brands that win, whether it’s women’s or any other category.”
Nike reported $ 14.8 billion in 2016 sales in North American while Adidas reported $ 3.7 billion, according to CNN Money.
LeBron James‘ lifetime deal with Nike is worth $ 1 billion. According to Forbes, the four-time NBA MVP and three-time NBA champion had a net worth of $ 275 million in 2016. James has been in the NBA for 14 years.
LaVar Ball wasn’t looking for an endorsement deal, like typical NBA lottery picks seek. He wanted a “co-branding” partner.
“Now you know…if they want to talk to me now, it just went up to $ 3 billion,” Ball told Cowherd. “Triple Bs — billion, billion, billion. That’s the only way they going to come at me. I’m already in the building. I don’t need them for nothing, as you can tell.”