Kicks & Coffee (10/13) – 4 NBA Players That Should Have Signature Sneakers
The start of the NBA regular season is around the corner, so that can only mean one thing; new basketball sneakers. While Kobe Bryant may be a retiree, Nike will still continue his line alongside LeBron James’, Kevin Durant’s, and Kyrie Irving’s.
However, with Kyrie Irving’s second signature model failing to reach the same level of popular success as his first model, Kevin Durant’s line being on such a decline that the latest KD 9 saw the price decrease from the KD 8 model, and LeBron’s taking a backseat in recent years largely due to wayward designs, it may be time for Nike to pump some new energy into their signature models.
Nike lost James Harden last offseason after the Rockets guard signed with adidas on a 13-year, $200 million deal, but they still have some marquee names on their roster that could help pump some energy into a Nike basketball line that has lacked excitement around it in recent years.
Nike isn’t the only brand out there though, as adidas and Under Armour have both taken strides to catch up to the sneaker giant. UA’s Steph Curry is arguably the face of the NBA now and adidas continues to push Portland Trailblazer Damian Lillard’s signature line.
While Curry, Lillard, and Irving have all been new introductions into the exclusive club of basketball players with signature lines, there are a few more marquee names that may be next.
Anthony Davis – F, New Orleans Pelicans
Yes, Davis has struggled to stay on the court so far in his career, but at 23 years of age and already one of the emerging stars in the league, he may just be worth the risk. He and his “brow” are already one of the most marketable pairings in the NBA (Harden and his beard may be right behind him) and his play and marketability should only rise as he continues to grow as a talent and hopefully stays on the court more. While there is a stigma that big men can’t sell shoes and New Orleans is a relatively small market, if anybody can pull it off, it might be Davis.
James Harden – G, Houston Rockets
You see the face of Harden in this picture? That’s the face of a man confused as to why he doesn’t already have a signature shoe. Harden is in the prime of his career and with him inking a 13-year, $200 million deal with adidas least season, it’s hard to believe his signature shoe isn’t already in the works in the adidas labs. He’d also be the only player in Texas, in one of the biggest media markets in the country in Houston, with a signature line; adidas, make that happen.
Kawhi Leonard – F, San Antonio Spurs
Jordan Brand is known to drag their feet about introducing new signature sneakers (-cough- Blake Griffin -cough- Russel Westbrook -cough-), but if there was any time to give the two-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year his own line, the time would be now. With future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan hanging up his jersey, the team is now in the hands of Leonard and Lamarcus Aldridge, with Leonard now being the face of the franchise. He has the Finals MVP to match the ring, his first All-Star appearance coming last season, and Jordan Brand even did him a favor and he already has his own logo.
Russell Westbrook – G, Oklahoma City Thunder
With Westbrook signing an extension to remain in OKC for at least the next three seasons, now would be the time to capitalize on him being a fan-favorite and the definitive face of the franchise with Kevin Durant now in Golden State. While his off-the-court signature line hasn’t seen much success, a performance sneaker would likely match his sixth ranked in jersey sales last season.