How signature sneakers have taken over the NBA

Just before he played his first NBA Finals game in 2015, Draymond Green made a major adjustment: He changed his shoes.

After spending most of the previous two seasons wearing various LeBron James models, Green eschewed superstition and switched to the Nike Hyperdunk 2014.replica nfl jerseys

“It’s no mind games,” Green said of making the switch right before facing James in the Finals. “Nike sent me some white and gold shoes — Finals editions shoes — so I put ’em on.”

Green, who often found himself matched up with James during the Warriors’ first title run, had worn the LeBron X model through most of his second season, then switched to the LeBron Soldier 8 for most of his 79 regular-season games and 15 Western Conference playoff games in 2014-15. That included a late February loss to the Cavaliers in which James torched the LeBron-wearing Green and the Warriors for 42 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists.13

“I used to see guys wear MJ’s shoes when they played against MJ, and I was like, ‘MJ got a little mental edge over those guys,'” James said in a GQ video later that fall.

This past season, signature sneakers took the league by storm like never before. Only 11 current players have a signature shoe with a U.S.-based basketball company like Nike, Adidas, Under Armour and, yes, Big Baller Brand, while another eight have signature models with a Chinese brand. And yet, nearly 70 percent of the players who appeared in a game this season played in a signature shoe — 327 in all.replica nfl jerseys wholesale

Of the players who at some point wore a signature model this season, 30 wore one of James’ current sneakers, whether it was the LeBron 15 or his Soldier 11 and Soldier 12 team shoes. As the age gap between James and players entering the league continues to widen, several younger players, such as Bulls All-Rookie forward Lauri Markkanen and Hawks guard Malcolm Delaney, began to wear vintage LeBrons from a decade ago as a show of appreciation, similar to how players adopted Kobe Bryant’s and Michael Jordan’s series during the final chapters of their careers.