This year has been the polar opposite of what we are accustom to in the NBA. This was beyond prevalent by this year’s All-star Game. Not to say it wasn’t entertaining, but it definitely lacked some of the star power and big names we are used to. The injuries to big names and tier one talent like Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, and rising star Paul George, have left a void in the excitement and lure of the NBA season.
This lack of star power has also translated over to the sneaker world. In my opinion this year’s Nike signature line was less than stellar. Compared to the Kobe 9 the 10 was very average, as it seemed rushed and without Bryant sporting them on the court. The KD7 was better and a solid silhouette, but the colorways ruined the potential it had. The LeBron 12 in some people’s mind was more attractive than the 11 To those people I reply with the now infamous Russell Westbrook interview. The 12 lacks a lot of flare for the shoe and that brings it down for me. I personally own at least 10 pairs of LeBron 11s; at most I will be investing in 4 of the 12s.
I recall prior to it’s release a bunch of drawings released of potential LeBron 12 schemes; and many of them left a lot of people intrigued of what the shoe could potentially be. I was extremely sad to see NOT ONE of those renders released, nor even be an option to create on NikeID. All the decent colorways have come from recycled themes; Wheat 12 = Wheat Zoom Generation, Double Helix = Crown Jewel 10, Entourage low 12 = Entourage 8, Elite 12 “Elevate” = Birthday 4/HWC 7/8; and the Lebronald Palmers were a PE of the past. I feel like while serviceable the 12 will definitely slip into that vault of never retro’d shoes once LeBron’s become retro’d.
I’m speaking about Nike mainly because let’s just be honest that’s all you guys really care about. Adidas, which possibly may be winning the race overall at the moment, makes signature basketball shoes for the court and pretty much the court only. In fact their “Easter Pack” which in my opinion showed a dope D Lillard 1 would have been a solid release, but that shoe never hit retailers. Jordan signatures haven’t wowed consistently when it comes to the current talent roster; and though he may have just won MVP (Steph Curry) no one is checking for Under Armour shoes to make a fashion statement. Nike even tried to slip in a new signature line for Kyrie, which has potential with some of the customs I have seen from Mache, but is really a shoe for the court as well.
I don’t think this is coincidence honestly. This year the talent wasn’t able to display, promote, or create hype around their shoes, and subsequently we as consumers got weaker releases. I would hope this is just a rare off season for Nike with the signatures, but a recent leak of the KD8 doesn’t have my hopes to high for the future…