We recently learned that adidas has overtaken Jordan as the second-most popular sports footwear brand in the United States.
According to a report from Versus Reviews, Jordan has also fallen in another key measure of understanding shoe popularity. Their research indicates more NBA players are wearing Kobe Bryant sneakers than Michael Jordan.
In fact, 58 players in the league are wearing Kobe’s while 50 rock shoes from Jordan. This is a major change of pace for the industry.
One loyal supporter is 22-year-old Giannis Antetokounmpo (via ESPN):
“He has exclusively worn the Kobe X Low model for the past two seasons, constantly declining to switch into Nike’s latest and greatest. The brand made him a custom pair of the new Kobe A.D. for the 2017 All-Star Game, yet he still opted to switch back into his beloved Kobe X just before tipoff. At one point, the brand even wanted him to debut the new React Hyperdunk 2017 during this year’s playoffs — but he stuck with the Kobes.”
Another NBA star who often sports Kobe shoes is California native DeMar DeRozan, who had player editions for sale of the Nike Kobe 11’s. Ten NBA players wore those shoes last season.
Nike Kobe AD’s are the most popular choice for players, with 33 individuals wearing them. Only one shoe from the Jordan brand (Air Jordan XXI) finished in the top 10, as 13 players chose to wear those shoes.
Players entering the league each season are becoming further removed from Jordan’s era of dominance, with many growing up watching Bryant in his prime.