As one of the most electrifying players in the NBA and reigning rookie of the year, it is not a surprise that Puma is ready to go all in on LaMelo Ball. The brand is prepping the release of Ball’s first signature shoe in December, the MB. 01, which also marks the company’s first signature shoe since relaunching its basketball category in 2018.
“I am excited to officially launch my first signature basketball shoe with Puma. Puma was great to work with during the design process. After signing with the brand last October, we got to work on MB.01,” said Ball. “I love wearing bright colors, so I knew early on that the MB.01 had to have some showstopping colors and a cool design. I wanted to work with Puma to create a basketball sneaker that’s different, and incorporated elements from my personal style. I wanted a shoe that represents me but also is something that everyone wants to wear not only on court but off court, too. I think Puma really captured my vision. I love the way MB.01 turned out; I can’t wait to wear them all season.”
Ball joins a lineup of Puma’s iconic basketball signature shoes named after basketball legends Walt “Clyde” Frazier and Ralph Sampson, and says he can’t believe he gets to join an exclusive group with basketball legends.
“I respect the game they played; they are legends. I’m just excited to have my own shoe at the start of my career. I want to continue to work to make an impact like they both did for the game.”
Since relaunching its basketball division, Puma has been aggressive in signing deals with upcoming hoops talent such as RJ Barrett, Michael Porter Jr., Kyle Kuzma, Kevin Porter Jr., and the company signed WNBA superstar Breanna Stewart to a multiyear shoe deal that guarantees a signature sneaker in the future.
Puma is banking on Ball to take the brand to new heights in a way Michael Jordan helped turn Nike into a billion-dollar titan in the shoe industry. Puma executives see Ball as the perfect signature sneaker star in the social media age. He has seven million followers on Instagram and is constantly on NBA highlight reels.
“We are proud to introduce the MB.01 as our first Puma Hoops signature shoe, just three years after reentering the basketball category, said Adam Petrick, global director of brand and marketing at Puma, in a release. “LaMelo and the MB.01 truly embodies what Puma Hoops is about, merging sport with culture while also pushing the brand forward with bold, bright and disruptive designs. This is just the beginning of many exciting projects to come.”
LaMelo says the design process was very collaborative, and he wanted to incorporate his style and unique details like “rocket flames” throughout the shoe. The tongue of the shoe includes LaMelo’s “Not From Here” motto, and the outsole showcases the word rare, which is one way he describes his game.
“I live by the motto “One of One,” which means I am not like everyone else,” said Ball. “I stand out as being different and I’m always 100% myself. That motto was really the inspiration behind MB.01. I wanted to create a different kind of sneaker, one that is “Not From Here,” to reflect my basketball journey to this point. MB.01 is just as unique as me.”
When asked how it is going to feel when he sees kids in his sneakers:
“Crazy! It’s going to be a surreal moment for me to see kids wearing MB.01. It’s so cool. I have dreamed about this moment, and I just can’t believe it’s going to be reality.”