This ball brother is a legit player in the sneaker business. On Tuesday, October 12, PUMA unveiled NBA Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball‘s first signature sneaker.
Melo shoe is the MB.01, and has the distinction of being the first signature shoe from PUMA Hoops since it formally re-launched its basketball division back in 2018. That places the middle Ball brother in rare air; with a pair fellow PUMA signature sneaker legends from the brand; Walt “Clyde” Frazier and Ralph Sampson.
“I joined PUMA because they let me be me,” said Melo in a press statement. “I wanted to work with a brand that allowed me to be authentic, incorporating my ideas while also giving me the opportunity to show off my personal style.”
Indeed the point guard participated in the mid-cut shoe’s design. Some key details include flames that shoot down the shoe’s ankle collar, and also lines up with Melo’s rocket ankle tattoo. Melo’s “Not From Here” call-out can be seen atop the toe vamp and his “1 of 1” mantra is on the tongue (“I live by the motto ‘One of One,’ which means I am not like everyone else. I stand out as being different and I’m always 100% myself,” says Melo). while the outsole includes the word “rare” which is a nod to his game on the court.
Adds LaMelo, “PUMA makes me feel like I am truly part of the fam, incorporating my fresh ideas when it comes to style. I enjoyed being a part of the MB.01 design process, sharing input from bright color choices to the addition of personal details like the rocket flames that match my ankle tattoo.”
On the technical side, cushioning is provided by PUMA’s Nitro Foam throughout the midsole there’s breathable monomesh in what PUMA bills as a “3D-printed disruptive upper” for support with light weight. Time will tell if LeMelo Ball proves to be able to move sneakers out of the store. Make sure he keeps getting better during his sophomore season is one way to assure he stays on people’s minds, particularly if they’re shopping for a new pair of kicks.
The PUMA MB.01 will retail for $125 and will be available in December at PUMA.com, the PUMA NYC Flagship and at Foot Locker, Champs Sports, Eastbay and Footaction. Check out detailed photos of the MB.01 below.