NBA All-Star Zach LaVine Is Soaring With New Balance Partnership

NBA All-Star Zach LaVine Will Not Be Outworked

Dropping 20 points or more per evening is starting to feel like business as usual for Zach LaVine. The Chicago Bulls all-star shooting guard has been on a tear this season — at times topping 40 points in a single night — and a lot of LaVine’s on-the-court success can be attributed to his phenomenal work ethic.

LaVine attributes his mindset of “never being outworked” to the hard work he witnessed from his parents during childhood — a value they helped instill in him and one he still lives by to this day.

Which is why when it comes to partnerships, LaVine is quite selective, making his recent partnership with New Balance all the more special. In New Balance, LaVine sees a company that aligns with his core values and one that speaks to his overall brand of authenticity.

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When we connect by phone, LaVine elaborates more on the New Balance partnership, the influence of his family on his career, and the key ingredients that have led to his success.

AskMen: Growing up, what was your introduction to basketball?

Zach LaVine: I think it started with my dad. My dad was a former NFL player who was also drafted by the Phillies out of high school. So it was watching him when I was growing up and being introduced to basketball through video and things like that that really sparked the interest.

What was the moment when you realized basketball was something you had the talent to pursue professionally?

I knew I was going to be professional at something, I just didn’t know if it was going to be basketball or baseball. Growing up, I was a giant baseball fan and I think that’s where my focus was. But once I started to have more of an interest in basketball, I started to try and take it as far as I could.

Around sixth or seventh grade, me and my dad started training strictly for basketball, and baseball phased out as I got closer to high school.

How did you know you’d made the right choice in choosing basketball?

Once you love something, you’re going to put your whole heart toward it. I had aspirations to go professional in either [basketball or baseball], and once it got down to the nitty gritty, I had more of a liking to basketball and that’s what I put all of my passion into.

I had an all-star baseball game in California I was supposed to go to but I told my dad I didn’t want to go because I wanted to play in-house rotary basketball games — things you do on the weekend with your friends. He was like, “OK, yeah. It’s about time to make the switch [to basketball].”

You eventually make it to the NBA. What are the key factors that have contributed to your success — and sustaining it — at the highest level?

Just the want to be the best you can. Every year from high school onward I wanted to continue to improve my game, get better, and never be a finished product.

After every successful NBA season I try not to be satisfied by the accomplishments I’ve had and continue to work hard. I think hard work has always been the thing in the back of my head that’s helped me get this far, and I try not to let anybody out-work me.

So putting in the work, putting in the time, and being your best self.

Yeah, just going after it. Not having the mentality of, “Now I’ve been drafted so I’ve made it.” Once I got drafted, I remember my dad saying, “This is just the beginning.”

It’s always just trying to continue to improve and get better and be the best you can be.

In terms of being the best you can be, how does the partnership with New Balance play into that narrative?

It’s just aligned with my brand. It’s very authentic, very cultural. They gave me a lot of input — not just in terms of the shoe — but in terms of design, actually hearing my voice and allowing me to collaborate with them on player editions and be really creative. I think for any athlete, that’s all you can ask for.

What’s at the core ethos of your brand?

I think being authentic is one of the main things. I think people try to push you into a lane and make you do things that may not be authentic to you. I think New Balance has allowed me to be myself on and off the court. Basketball, style, fashion, input, ideas — things like that where you’re authentic and can have your voice heard.

And also, just being good people. I come from an extremely well-rounded family environment and I think my parents did a great job raising me. Seeing that family orientation in the brand is something big.

In terms of family, how are you able to balance your career and your personal life?

Having a stable home environment has always been great for me. Seeing how hard my mom and my dad worked when I was growing up allowed me and my sister to do the things that we love.

My mom worked two jobs for seven straight years and my dad worked two jobs. He’d come home after construction and would work me out — all of my basketball and baseball routines — and still got up in the morning to go to work. So just seeing that and realizing I had talent and not letting it go to waste.

Now, I’m in a position where I can support my family. Me and my wife have our new baby and that just continues to give me the inspiration to do the best I can.

And it sounds like you had a good template from your parents in terms of instilling work ethic and pushing yourself.

One-hundred percent. That’s something that resonates with me extremely well and I’ll continue to speak that into existence.

Follow @ZachLaVine and check out https://www.nba.com/bulls for tickets and game dates

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