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Lonzo Ball on why he wore Kobe Bryant’s signature shoes instead of ZO2s: ‘Mamba mentality’

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Los Angeles’ young guard was literally emulating Kobe during their late comeback.

2017 Las Vegas Summer League - Philadelphia 76ers v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

LAS VEGAS- After Lonzo Ball’s transcendant 36 point, 11 assist, eight rebound, five steal and two block performance in the Los Angeles Lakers’ come from behind win over the Philadelphia 76ers in the Las Vegas Summer League playoffs, there was only one thing on everyone’s mind: Was it the shoes?

Okay, so it’s unlikely anybody was actually wondering that, but Ball had switched out his Big Baller Brand ZO2’s for a pair of purple Nike Kobe AD’s, and the reason why was simple.

"You know, Mamba mentality. Thought I'd switch it up,” Ball said. “You can wear whatever you want when you play for Big Baller Brand. It's just nice to get out there and do that.”

Ball certainly demonstrated the Kobe Bryant-inspired “Mamba mentality” he referenced in closing out the Sixers with a flurry of buckets and assists in the fourth quarter as the Lakers closed out their opposition down the stretch.

His clutch play ensured the Lakers will move on the summer league postseason, taking on the second-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers Thursday at 7:30 p.m. PT.

Ball’s shoes may change again for that game, but as long as his Mamba mentality remains, it’s hard to imagine anyone having a problem with him wearing whatever he wants.

Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.