Signature sneakers: How long did it take NBA players to get their own shoe?

Signature sneakers: How long did it take NBA players to get their own shoe?


Signature sneakers: How long did it take NBA players to get their own shoe?

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Gary Payton, Nike Air Zoom Flight 98 The Glove

Gary Payton received his first signature shoe with Nike at the age of 30. The sneaker resembled Payton’s nickname, “The Glove,” well with a zipper that covered the lacing system on the front of the shoe complimented by a swoosh. Twenty years after its original release, the Zoom Flight 98 continues to be one of the most iconic Nike Basketball sneakers.

Rajon Rondo, ANTA RR1

After spending some time with Nike, Rajon Rondo took his talents overseas and signed an eight-year deal with ANTA to launch a series of signature shoes and performance apparel. The RR1 released in 2014. 

Scottie Pippen, Nike Air Pippen 1

Pip’s Aaron Cooper-designed sneaker features two distinct lines across the shoe that were said to represent his style and approach to the game. The Pippen 1 also featured a full Zoom Air unit and Scottie’s kicks are among some of the best basketball sneakers of that era.


Glen Rice, Nautica and Warner Bros. GR41

Nautica and Warner Bros. actually made a basketball sneaker for Glen Rice in 1997 and it’s so random to try and process that in present-day 2018. He wore them in the ’97 All-Star Game, scoring 27 points to lead the East to a W.


Chauncey Billups, adidas C-Billups

During his time in the league, Chauncey Billups was known as “Mr. Big Shot.” The nickname, which is self-explanatory, was something he earned during his days in Detroit. His only signature sneaker, Chauncey wore these throughout the season, especially in the 2006 All-Star Game.

Russell Westbrook, Air Jordan Why Not Zer0.1

To kick off 2018, Jordan laced up Russell Westbrook with his first signature shoe, the Why Not Zer0.1. Fit for one of the NBA’s most eccentric player when it comes to style, Westbrook’s sneaker featured a mesh upper, full-length Zoom Air and a compression-molded pylon foam with his “RW” logo featured on the center of the strap.


Dennis Rodman, Nike Air Shake Ndestrukt

Nike designer Eric Avar had one goal in mind with the process of designing an unconventional sneaker for one of the most unconventional NBA players. And whatever he did worked. Avar cooked up the Nike Air Shake Ndestrukt and it served Rodman (and his personality) well. The sneaker features a shroud on the upper portion of the shoe, exaggerated swoosh, different lacing system. 

Charles Barkley, Nike Air Max 2 CB94

Chuck’s Nike basketball sneakers, especially the CB94, is as ’90s as it gets when it comes to hoop shoes. Sir Charles’ first signature sneaker, which was designed by Eric Avar, mentioned amongst the classics when it comes to basketball silhouettes.


Al Harrington, Protege A3H

In 2009, Knicks forward Al Harrington introduced his own sneaker brand, Protege, as a budget-friendly initiative for adults ($34.99) and kids ($27.99) that were sold inside Kmart. Looks-wise, the shoes weren’t all that great, but big Al gets an A for effort.

Karl Malone, APEX Mailman

APEX signed Karl Malone for five years during the 1996-97 season and the Mailman received a signature sneaker the following year. The sneakers had a white leather upper with purple and gold overlays that resembled mountains and “Mailman” and “32” etched on the heel along with “MVP” inside a basketball on the back of the shoe. Unfortunately (depending who you ask), the sneakers never hit retail.


Ben Wallace, Starbury Big Ben

Big Ben was down with the Starbury movement to endorse affordable kicks and clothes to those who were underprivileged. Wallace originally started wearing the Starbury II before his Big Ben signature arrived in the fall of 2007.

Latrell Sprewell, Dada Sprewell

What’s the perfect sneaker for an NBA player who owns a rim company in the 2000s era? You make a signature sneaker with a rim on the side of it that spins every time you take a step. Dada created the Dada Sprewell Spinners in 2004. According to Spree, they’re coming back.

Ron Artest, Ball’N Lay up

Before the name change, Ron Artest was a sneaker journeyman during his time in the NBA. In 2010, he joined Ball’N and wore Lakers-colored models while with the Lakers. The shoes even earned a jab from Phil Jackson after he blamed the kicks that “belonged in the Hudson River” for Artest’s plantar fasciitis.

Stephen Jackson, Protege

Stak joined Al Harrington’s line in 2009 when he was a part of the Warriors. The shoes, uh, look like everything you’d expect from a low-budget sneaker company at the time.




Tony Parker, PEAK TP1

In 2013, Tony Parker was the 17th athlete to sign with PEAK. Parker was one of the many NBA guys to sign with a smaller, international brand after spending some time with Nike. Parker’s TP1, which featured a fuse upper and foam cushion, released in January 2014.

Jamal Crawford, Brandblack J. Crossover 1

In late 2013, then-Clippers guard Jamal Crawford signed an endorsement deal with Brandblack, a Los Angeles-based basketball brand founded by David Raysse, the man behind Crawford’s first signature shoe, the J. Crossover. Known for its high-fashion aesthetic, the shoe resembled a Christian Louboutin-like basketball sneaker for a player with one of the meanest handles in the NBA.

You can find (some of) these sneakers on HoopsHype’s Amazon Page.

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