Nike once tweeted this about LeBron James:
“Look good. Play better. For King James, style is the key to his on-court success.”
A key part of an NBA palyer’s uniform is what they wear on their feet. A player’s appearance is almost as important as their production. After all…if you look good, you feel (or in this case) play good.
Some players like comfort, some like design. Some wear a pair of shoes once, others will wear them until the soles are begging for retirement. Every player at every level of the game has their preference. The ‘sneaker game’ is a top tier issue for pop culture reasons and, much more importantly, to those who play the game professionally, an important factor on the business side of basketball.
Shout out to these endorsers too…
As Washington Wizards guard John Wall transitions to another impending shoe deal, where he goes next seems fairly evident. Unless a dark horse like UnderArmour jumps into the mix, we all but think this will come down to Nike or Air Brand.
Wall’s first shoe deal was with Reebok, where he signed for $25 million even before getting drafted. During his time with Reebok he was the face of the ZigTech line. The shoe was innovative and cool; the sole was essentially a zig-zag that was “The energy drink for your feet,” as stated in a Reebok commercial. Unfortunately, all three of Wall’s shoes with Reebok under-performed. Reebok would eventually decide to shift their focus away from basketball and that led Wall’s Adidas transition.
By this point Wall had become a household name, gaining national attention for his speed on the court, his dizzying 360 layups and a reputation for getting his teammates paid. Adidas chose Wall to be the face of the Crazyquick 2 and then offered him the chance to design his own shoe, bringing us the John Wall 1 and 2.
Wall’s stint with Adidas was short lived and when he broke ways with Dan Fegan in January of 2016 to sign with Rich Paul of Klutch Sports – and of LeBron James notoriety, the writing was pretty much on the wall for Adidas. Though his tenure with the ‘All Day I Dream About Sports’ brand was certainly more successful than his time with Reebok, it was not enough to satisfy the hunger of a talented young superstar with billboard image aspirations.
Note: Ten of Paul’s eleven NBA clients are Nike athletes.
If Wall is to join Team Jordan he will be in good company, and good point guard company at that. Currently, the Air Jordan basketball roster includes fellow ball handlers Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul, who both now have signature shoe lines. Based on Wall’s choice of footwear from the All-Star Game through the end of the 2016 season, it would seem this is where he’s leaning but one can never be sure.
Here are a few images of John in Jordans:
At the All-Star Game in the French Blues Jordan XII’s
Against Reggie Jackson in the Jordan II’s
In the Jordan Jumpman Team 2’s
All I’m hoping for is whoever lands John Wall as their next spokesman, that they’ll continue to do more commercials like this one…