Getting your own signature shoe in the NBA is generally a sign that you have “arrived.” Getting your own shoe is a sure fire sign that you have made it and are approaching superstardom or are already established. Players such as Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Kevin Durant have reached new levels of exposure and fame due to their off the court business deals. Obviously Michael Jordan started the signature shoe trend in the the 1980’s and it has exploded ever since.
Nowadays it appears that just any old player can get his own signature shoe *cough* Chandler Parsons and George Hill *cough*, and yet some true stars of the league don’t have their own kicks yet. The fact that some players *cough* James Harden and Anthony Davis *cough* still don’t have their own shoes is mind blowing at best and inexcusable at worst. So I decided to take matters into my own hands in order to try and get the people at Jordan, Nike, Adidas, etc… to step their games up and get these players their own shoes. If someone can average 11.3 PPG and 3.3 APG for his career (sorry George Hill, I’m sure you’re a wonderful guy, but c’mon son, you don’t need your own shoe) then there is no reason why James Harden can average 21.1, 4.9, and 4.8 and not. I broke this into different tiers of players deserving shoes.
The: Are You Freakin’ Kidding Me Group ?!?!?
- James Harden: Adidas signed James Harden to a 10-year $200 million dollar and yet…here we are. N0 signature shoe for the bearded one. Which…just…I…*sigh* It doesn’t quite make sense why the 2015 MVP runner-up doesn’t yet have his own shoe, especially with such a hefty paycheck. A Crazylight Boost 2.5 player edition shoe was recently released after his Houston Rockets crashed and burned out of the playoffs, and it looks pretty good but the timing was less than ideal. I’m sure we will see a shoe for the beard sooner rather than later, but it is still curious its taken this long
- Anthony Davis: From The Beard to The Brow. Anthony Davis was hailed by many as the next super duper megastar after his breakout 2014-2015 and despite a slightly subpar 15-16 season, Davis is still only 23 and still primed to have a really special career. Considering had he stayed in college all four years he would just be finishing his rookie campaign its not altogether unreasonable that he doesn’t have his own shoes but…still. When you are hailed as the next big thing, generally there are perks that come along with it. Look at Ben Simmons, he signed a 5 year fully guaranteed $20 million dollar deal with Nike before he even knew where he was going to be playing. So while Davis should be getting his in the near future, I feel as though people should already be lacing up Air Brow 1’s already.
- Paul George: There were few stories that made fans around the league of all teams happier this past season then seeing Paul George come back from his horrific leg injury and return to his superstar form. He landed a spot on the All-Star team as well as earning third team All-NBA honors this this past season. So PG is well on his way to earning his own signature shoe and frankly, it’s a bit odd that he’s had to wait this long. Perhaps it should be called “Unbroken” or something corny along those lines.
The: Yea, You Should Probably Have A Shoe, You’re Pretty Good Group
- Demarcus Cousins: Boogie!!! Boogie Cousins is one of my personal favorite players, primarily because I love his attitude despite the hate and criticism that he receives, but also, if you haven’t noticed, dude is really really good. Also, having a nickname like “Boogie” gets you all the points in my book. I’m sure the fact that he plays in Sacramento and has already had roughly 126 coaches and 274 GM’s is part of the reason he hasn’t gotten his own line yet, but that’s not Boogie’s fault. If and when this does happen, trust that I will be the first person in line.
- Draymond Green: Controversy sells, and who has been more controversial over the past few months than Mr. Green? The answer is no one. No one has generated a fraction as much attention as he had since the NBA playoffs. So, what better a time than now to take advantage of his this media storm by giving him his own kicks? He has to feel a little left out considering that all his Warriors friends have their own shoes and he’s left to wear other players shoes.
The: It Would Be Really Funny So Why Not Group
- Kristaps Porzingis: Yes! You read that right! The Zinger! Or, as Michael Rapaport calls him “The Latvian Gangbanger.” Honestly, how great would it be to give Porzingis his own shoe? The heir apparent to Carmelo Anthony’s throne in New York, and if his rookie season is any indication, the next in the line of tall goofy looking Europeans in the league. Of course he needs his own shoe! Why hasn’t this happened already?
- D’Angelo Russell: Continuing the trend of promising rookies, D Loading down the line may very well have his own shoe based on his performance in games, but right now, much like Draymond, you have to capitalize on controversy. Who could forget Snapchat-gate when he outed teammate Nick Young for cheating on then fiance Iggy Azalea?(shocking I know, an NBA player wasn’t faithful, who saw that coming) At least he has a sense of humor about it, staring in a very funny and self-deprecating Foot Locker ad this Summer.
- Nick Young: Swaggy. Freaking. P. Yes sir. This pick is based purely on the potential of a sales battle, a la Kanye and 50. You have Swaggy and D’Angelo drop their shoes on the same day and whoever sells more wins. Win what you ask? Well, that is a very good question and I’m not entirely sure what the answer is, but let me tell you, how good a story would that be?