Eventually having an exclusive run of signature sneakers is every NBA player’s dream. Gaining deals with huge brands like Nike or Adidas is exciting enough for basketball professionals, let alone being asked to design your own run of shoes.
NBA players have a long and iconic history with sneaker brands. Nike’s Air Jordans are some of the world’s most popular shoes, transcending basketball and becoming definitive fashion statements in their own right.
Signature sneakers are designed with the player wholeheartedly in mind, allowing for extensive customization and an off-court composition. These models are generally more expensive, but it’s more than worth it for their high quality and tailor-made design.
Brands also benefit from the NBA’s constantly increasing popularity. The league generates several billion dollars each year, also facilitating a vast increase in sports betting profits. A new generation of online sportsbooks has made basketball wagering fun and flexible.
Enjoying NBA sports betting is straightforward, with various high-quality sites to choose from. Bettors are treated to welcome bonuses and innumerable special features. Nevertheless, betting isn’t the only way to immerse yourself in the NBA.
Check out the top five NBA signature shoes below for a few other examples of how to dive into the world of professional basketball!
LeBron James – Nike
LeBron James is no stranger to controversy, having recently been fined for making an obscene gesture during a game against the Detroit Pistons. This came after the first one-game suspension of his career, so tensions were running high.
Regardless, there is no tarnishing James’ image as an ambassador for basketball and the most commercially successful player currently in the sport. The legendary LA Lakers baller holds a lifelong deal with Nike, reportedly worth $1bn, creating several signature shoes over his career.
In fact, as of 2022, LeBron James has no less than 19 signature models to his name. The Nike LeBron 20 is slated for release in the fall, sending sneakerheads crazy. The knitted upper and sleek colorways have already seen people calling it the best signature shoe of his career.
Stephen Curry – Under Armour
Much was made of Nike’s unsuccessful meeting with Stephen Curry in 2013. The celebrated Golden State Warriors point guard had a lot of promise at the time but still hadn’t reached anywhere near the heights of today.
Many people looked on in dismay when Curry signed a new deal with upstart company Under Armour, but it has proved a masterstroke. His profile was raised instantly as he became the face of the company in the United States and received his own signature line.
Curry and Under Armour have already brought out 10 different sneakers since 2013. These shoes are well known for their minimal cushioning, providing greater feel when playing basketball and also giving the shoe a much sleeker, more fashionable look.
Kevin Durant – Nike
A 12-time NBA All-Star and counting, there aren’t many players in the modern game who come close to Kevin Durant. He is widely regarded as one of the best ballers in NBA history, with a career record to match.
The versatile small forward is also famous for his long-running line of Nike signature sneakers. He recently debuted the Nike KD 15 sneakers on the opening night of the 2022-2023 season, generating a huge amount of excitement for the fall release.
These shoes will be the 15th collaboration between Durant and Nike in an iconic partnership. He has successfully used sneakers to boost his profile and sponsorship deals throughout his career, with a similarly lucrative deal with Foot Locker.
James Harden – Adidas
One of the most prolific scorers in NBA history, James Harden is also notable for his $200m deal with Adidas. The Harden range of sneakers is known for its innovative design and unwavering consistency regarding comfort and on-court grip.
The Philadelphia 76ers point guard has six Adidas sneakers under his belt, with the seventh hovering on the horizon. Available in an impressive range of colorways, it’s expected to be one of the most successful sneakers of fall 2022.
Harden may be a divisive player sometimes due to his unwavering commitment to offence and perceived defensive frailties, but his Adidas signature line is universally adored. We just hope we get more than seven!
Kyrie Irving – Nike
The Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving is another high-profile NBA recipient of his own sneaker line with Nike. He signed a $99m contract in 2014, with eight shoes to his name so far.
Unfortunately, Nike won’t be renewing its contract with the points guard, but there is one last sneaker on the way. Controversially, it looks like they will be called the Kyrie 8s, after he disowned the original Kyrie 8s in July 2021.
He was unhappy with a lack of creative involvement, and the sneakers were ultimately rebranded as Kyrie Infinities. This controversy is arguably the biggest factor in his severance with Nike.