Jordans have been running the sneaker game for a while, but could the Big Baller Brand be making waves in its own way?
The players in the Big3 clearly still have a passion to get out on the court and compete at a high level. They also have a passion for sneakers.
These retirees have been around for plenty of sneaker trends and a handful of them even had their own signature shoe.
SI got the chance to talk with a few players in the Big3 to see what their favorite sneakers are and what they thought about Lonzo Ball and the Zo2s being announced before the 19-year-old was officially in the NBA.
SI: What's your favorite pair of sneakers?
Mike Bibby: I love Jordans. I’ve been Jordan since I was playing. I’m with Jordan till this day. I got a lot of shoes, I collect shoes, I wear shoes, and they’re all Jordans. I like 16s and the 13s. I’ve been with Jordan ever since my first year in the league ... so there’s no other shoe in my closet.
Jerome Williams: Oh definitely my JYD. Gotta have them. Then after that, I got my Jordans my Kobes, my KDs, I even got some LeBron James, I got some Steph Currys. And then of course, you got to be rocking the Air Force Ones.
Ivan Johnson: I don’t really have one. I wear a lot of Converse. A lot of Chucks.
Rashard Lewis: I’m a Jordan guy. I like the paten leather Js. I’m a Jordan guy. I grew up on Jordans. I probably have damn near every Jordan shoe you can name, but sometimes they seem to come up missing when I have family and friends come over. A pair my come up missing here or there.
Eddie Robinson: All I wear is Jordans. My favorites are the 11s and the 12s. Those are the ones I usually play in.
Mike Sweetney: I’m a Jordan and Air Force type of guy. I love shoes.
Moochie Norris: I'm a Air Force One guy. Ride or die Air Force Ones.
SI: Do you have any thoughts about Lonzo Ball having his own signature shoe before he is technically in the NBA?
Bibby: No. I’m not buying it, let’s put it like that.
Williams: I think it’s awesome. I think more players need to think like that. If more players thought about their own brand before you get into the NBA, you take advantage of the professional sport you’re arriving into. The NBA logo is already been produced by legendary status players like Iceman, like Clyde, like Dr. J, and now they have elevated this game to the point where it is now. So if you don’t take the time to think about it, and read up on your history of these guys who already paved the way, you have to put yourself in a business suit, and say, ‘Well what can I do to not only expand my game, but a part of the business of basketball.’ See it’s not just on the court. You got to think off the court.
Johnson: That’s all his daddy's work. They got big plans, man. His daddy see big plans in his boys and that’s a thing I respect.
Lewis: In his situation, it’s almost like he’s a genius. Cause of the fact everybody knows the two big markets are LA and New York. You can make a lot more money off the court than you can on the court being in those markets. And by him having his own shoe and not going through a company, and if he go out there and perform and he’s already in LA, then he plays well, he’s a good player, I think it’s a genius idea. His sales could go through the roof.
Robinson: I think that right there is probably what most NBA guys coming out would love their dad to be in there like that, but Unfortunately for most of us, we didn’t have our fathers like that. I think that’s a beautiful situation. I mean his father’s been there from day one. I don’t think he’s done anything wrong in my eyes but support his kids and help try to build them up. And I think that’s what fathers supposed to do.
Sweetney: It’s good. His father’s switching up the game. His father’s taking control of his son and not letting anybody else control it. So it’s pretty cool.
Norris: To each his own. Times have changed. Marketing has changed. People change. If you ask me, I think his dad was just trying to be creative—take it up a level. If he didn’t do it, I think somebody else would have did it sooner or later. I applaud him for what he’s tried to do with it and everything, and I understand it, I get it. He’s trying to create his own brand so he doesn’t have to go any other place, so it’s to be looked at in a positive light if you ask me.