Sneakers Rumors

Lance Thomas, alongside Knicks guard Damyean Dotson, orchestrated a sneaker drive at Sneakersnstuff in New York’s Meatpacking District. Friends and fans chummed it up with Thomas and Dotson, taking pictures and receiving autographs, and donated over 500 pairs of new and lightly worn sneakers, all of which went to the New York City Department of Homeless Services.
“Everybody in New York loves sneakers,” Thomas said. “I remember cleaning my sneakers with a toothbrush—I still do it for my special pairs. But I also know everybody has those pair of sneakers they’re not going to wear anymore. And I know there are people who would benefit from those. I just want to close that gap and make sure everyone has a happy holiday.”
Mark Bartelstein, a top N.B.A. agent whose client Gordon Hayward recently signed with the Chinese shoe company Anta, said the companies were battling for a piece of the basketball business because “the money follows what is hot, and the N.B.A. is very hot.” Executives at Puma and New Balance, eager to justify major investments, were quick to agree, pointing to the outsize influence of a league with a global footprint that extends beyond sports. They say that it has never been more important to be associated with the N.B.A.