At All-Star weekend, it's all about specially designed shoes

TORONTO -- All-Star weekend is one of the biggest of the NBA season for stars like LeBron James, Steph Curry, James Harden and Dwyane Wade.

See Full Article

It's even bigger for Nike, Under Armour, Adidas and Li-Ning.

With all the big stars in Toronto and millions of fans watching around the world, the big shoe companies have turned the basketball court into a fashion runway and unveiling specially designed sneakers during the game on Sunday. When it comes to the events of All-Star weekend, the shoe launches are right up there on the anticipation meter with the 3-point shootout and the slam dunk contest.

Wade has his designers from Chinese-based Li-Ning come up with something multicolored -- almost rainbow-esque -- with a shiny look. His fans can get them, but they'll have to work for it since only 100 pairs of Wade's All-Star shoe will be released.

"When people get it they'll know this is a special All-Star to me," said Wade, a 12-time All-Star selection. "I'm not going to have 12 more of these, so I'm going to make sure that this moment is something they remember was special if they get one of the sneakers."

The 100 pairs that he'll release will be numbered.

What Wade is wearing Sunday night won't be -- his are a tad different.

"I just think it's cool," Wade said. "That's the story. All-Star weekend, just looking to do something that I thought was cool."

Wade is certainly not alone.

James debuted a new version of his Nike sneakers this weekend called the 13 Lows, a black shoe with white and red trim and his signature King James logo on the tongue.

"I got a great designer at Nike, Jason Petrie. We have consistent communication about what I want, what we want and what we want to do from a comfort, style, technology piece," James said. "We pick each other's brain and go from there. We figure it out and stuff like this happens. It's pretty cool. The 13 Lows, coming to a city near you."

Curry's explosion in popularity over the last two years has helped Under Armour gain traction in the hyper-competitive shoe game. Like James and many of his contemporaries, Curry's goal is to follow in the footsteps of what Michael Jordan did at Nike, turning himself into the iconic pitchman and building an empire that has helped him become the owner of the Charlotte Hornets.

"They had a nice template of success with Jordan's career," Curry said. "We're trying to do it our way, which is very genuine and organic to what we're trying to do. It's been a great partnership so far. We're honestly just getting started with where we're at as a basketball brand and very excited about what's to come. It's nice to be as hands-on as I can be."

Jordan has shown that the shoe game offers the truly elite players a way to remain in the public consciousness long after their playing days are over. Indiana Pacers All-Star Paul George sees Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who is playing in his final All-Star game, following a similar path with his Nike shoes, one that will get kids for generations to come interested in his dynamic game even though his career is coming to an end this season.

"The people that didn't grow up watching Jordan, his shoes told stories," said George, who has worn Bryant's shoe since his high school days. "From there, people wanted to Google and YouTube him. It kind of brings up everything in the past that Jordan did, brings that back to life. It keeps you relevant."



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Big Brother, Preacher and Gypsy top this week’s TV must-sees

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Big Brother 19 Season Premiere It isn’t officially summer until a new batch of quirky houseguests enters the Big Brother house for a summer of strategic lies and competitive backstabbing. Luckily, the reality TV summer staple kicks off with a two-hour premiere, with Julie Chen returning to her hosting post on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays until the winner is crowned this fall. Source
  • Stephen Colbert 'announces' 2020 presidential run on Russia TV

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    For Russian ears only: Stephen Colbert is running for president of the United States in 2020. In an appearance Friday on the Russian late-night show "Evening Urgant," "The Late Show" host sat on the other side of the desk for once, bantering with host Ivan Urgant through a translator and playing "Russian roulette" with a tray of vodka-filled shot glasses and pickles. Source
  • Bradley Cooper makes surprise appearance on Glastonbury Festival stage

    Entertainment CBC News
    Actor Bradley Cooper surprised fans by taking the stage at the Glastonbury Festival Friday, since he wasn't exactly part of the lineup. The Hangover star was shooting a scene for the upcoming film A Star Is Born, which he is also directing. Source
  • Gaga on gay pride: It's a time to shine light on equality

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Lady Gaga, a longtime supporter of gay rights, says pride weekend is a time to shine a light on equality. "This weekend is a time for us all to reflect on the importance of tolerance and the importance of bravery and kindness, (and) the importance of us supporting one another," the pop star said in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday. Source
  • Jeremy Corbyn gets rock star welcome at Glastonbury Festival

    Entertainment CTV News
    LONDON (AP) -- Britain's famed Glastonbury music festival has embraced an unlikely headline act: Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn, 68, received a rock star welcome from thousands of festival-goers, who chanted his name and held up signs that read "I love Jeremy Corbyn" as he took to the festival's main stage. Source
  • U2's Joshua Tree 30th Anniversary Tour

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    If you didn’t get a chance to see U2 at their remaining Canadian stop in Toronto at the Rogers Centre Friday night, there’s still a chance to get in the car, cross the border and catch them on Sept. Source
  • U2 gives it all but fans want more [Photos]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    “Set me alight — we’ll punch a hole right through the night!” sang U2 frontman Bono on The Joshua Tree’s evocatively cinematic tune, In God’s Country, at Rogers Centre Friday night. And so the Irish band did. Source
  • 'Downward Dog' cancelled by ABC after one 8-episode season [Video]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — ABC’s freshman sitcom Downward Dog has been cancelled by ABC, the show’s executive producer said. The last two of the show’s eight episodes will air Tuesday, executive producer Jimmy Miller said Friday. ABC “loved it creatively and wanted to do more, but could not figure out a way to get it done financially,” Miller said in a statement. Source
  • Tommy Lee Jones to play Brad Pitt's father in space epic 'Ad Astra'?

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Tommy Lee Jones is close to signing on for Brad Pitt’s upcoming sci-fi epic Ad Astra. According to Deadline, the Men in Black star is in final talks to star in writer/director James Gray’s film, which will begin shooting in September. Source
  • Richard Linklater's daughter Lorelei busted for coke possession

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Director Richard Linklater’s daughter Lorelei has been sentenced to three years’ probation for cocaine possession. The 23-year-old actress, who starred in her father’s Oscar-winning 2014 film Boyhood, was arrested after her car collided with another vehicle on a highway near Waco, Texas, in May last year. Source