LaMelo Ball is one of the most intriguing young stars in the NBA today.
When he won Rookie of the Year in his first season, expectations for Ball began to build. Him earning an All-Star nod in 2021-22 as Kevin Durant’s replacement only further solidified him as a talent on the come up.
With the fame and notoriety, Ball also started developing his personal brand. A shoe deal with Puma followed. This week, images of what his next offering will look like came out.
The shoe largely speaks for itself:
LaMelo’s second signature sneaker is set to hit retailers 10/21 with a price of $130 👟
— B/R Kicks (@brkicks) October 13, 2022
Reactions to the kicks were deeply, deeply polarized. Some thought they were decent, but a lot of fans really disliked them.
This might be the ugliest shoe I’ve ever seen. No bs https://t.co/baPOY3fPAB
— IM (@NotStudzi) October 14, 2022
Need a few pair https://t.co/RXaoKl9Ruf
— Rambo (@CReid_05) October 14, 2022
This is a terribly ugly shoe https://t.co/UWqSHBSKLc
— Sim (@Simthedream) October 14, 2022
— YannD (@cruzdanny11) October 14, 2022
Shit ugly look like a Cheeto https://t.co/MLq43AhUPC
— obi (@oldbtchkrys) October 14, 2022
They tuff in person https://t.co/JRFCoMwn8W
— Eagles 5-0 (@iGoku_Montana) October 14, 2022
Hilariously enough, the thoughts on Ball’s shoe are not unlike the opinions on Ball himself as a player.
There are a lot of people who think he has a ton of potential and talent. But there is also a segment of the population that believes the hype surrounding him is overblown.
Just this week, David Thorpe revealed the brutal truth about Ball that an anonymous NBA player passed along to him not long ago.
“This LaMelo Ball, when he’s the face of your franchise, you’re all about style and substance,” he said.
“You’re not about competitiveness, you’re not about toughness, you’re not about winning. LaMelo’s gotta grow up. I see nothing from him, not in year three, that shows me he cares about winning. I don’t believe that he does. You’re allowed to grow up…
“I talked to a player that played against Charlotte this preseason, and the player told me, ‘That team is trash because LaMelo Ball is trash.'”
Ball is obviously a very unique talent. His court vision and swag on the court and his ability to pull Instagram models off it speaks for itself.
Brittany knows how to steal the show.https://t.co/raAuZ5RBbO
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 14, 2022
But he does need to step up and guide the Hornets to some actual success this season.
If he does, all the doubts and questions about Ball will go away.
Should he fail to do something legit in 2022-23, though – expect for folks to continue to question how meaningful all his on-the-court flash and glitz actually is.