Despite donning Nikes, Lonzo Ball not in talks with shoe company

9:37 AM ET

LaVar Ball says his son’s wearing of Nike shoes Wednesday night is about the Los Angeles Lakers rookie’s freedom to choose and has nothing to do with any negotiations with the world’s largest shoe and apparel company.

“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,” LaVar Ball told ESPN by text early Thursday morning. “This is what being independent is all about.”

Nike-clad Ball stellar as LeBron watches on

With LeBron James observing from the stands, Lonzo Ball scored 36 points and contributed 11 assists in the Lakers’ summer league win Wednesday. Ball turned some heads as he took the floor in Nikes instead of Big Baller Brand shoes.

Lonzo Ball was wearing Nikes in only his third — and best — summer league game. He scored 36 points with 11 assists, eight rebounds, five steals and two blocks in a one-point win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

“At BBB, you can play in

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