Best Kicks of the NBA Playoffs: Week 1 Review
The NBA Playoffs are underway. With the Brooklyn Nets and the Atlanta Hawks sent packing into their respective postseasons, we are reflecting on the first round of action. For some, the best highlights have come as the league's top talent has rolled out their finest footwear, making waves with their shoe selections in the quest to hoist the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy.
While Kyrie Irving and Stephen Curry dug deep in their bags for their first round selections, Jaylen Brown has been playing like he's got something to prove as he prepares to find a new shoe sponsorship - will he be able to really up his price?
Let's take a look at some of the highlights thus far.
Kevin Durant - Nike KD 15
After a long wait, Kevin Durant became only the third player in history to release 15 consecutive signature shoes, joining the elite company of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. For the KD15, Durant returned to a low top. He worked closely with designers at the Swoosh to create a sneaker that felt true to his design aesthetic. After being forced to collaborate virtually on the KD14, it was not lost on the team or on Durant himself how fortunate they were to be able to connect in person.
“It was way easier to feel the product and get in front of the team to let them know how I feel and bounce ideas off of everybody,” Durant told Boardroom in an exclusive interview
Together, they created a design that felt good to KD, while allowing him to integrate nods to a few of his favorite things from the ocean to his signature grit, there's a little something for one of the game's best players.
Luka Dončić - Jordan Brand Luka 1
Luka Dončić may have missed the first two games of the Mavericks' series against the Jazz, but his return to Game Three was made that much more exciting as he debuted his first signature shoe with Jordan Brand. Dončić becomes the second member of the Jordan Class of 2019 to launch his shoe, joining Zion Williamson, who debuted the Zion 1 last year.
The shoe contains a number of personal touches, Nick DePaula reports, including one of his favorite phrases ‘Non Desistas. Non Exieris’ – Latin for ‘Never give up. Never surrender.’
Jayson Tatum - Air Jordan 36 "Ruffles" PE
Speaking of the Jordan Brand Class of 2019, its third and final member is the Celtics' Jayson Tatum. The star has upped his performance throughout the season, coming to a head with a dominating sweep of the Nets.
While his own signature shoe isn't set to drop until next season, Tatum maintained his commitment to fly footwear as he debuted the Ruffles co-designed Air Jordan 36. The shoe featured custom design references, including Ruffles branding on the soles. Plus, they gave him just the lift he needed as he sank a buzzer-beating clincher to round out Game 1, setting the stage for the Celtics' sweep.