August 19, 2022

Sneaker Talk in the NBA

Written by: Nick Parker

Having the coolest sneakers has always been something that people wanted, but recently in the NBA it has been taken to a new level. This was due to the NBA removing the restriction on what color sneakers players were required to wear.

PJ Tucker wearing the “Stewie Griffin” Nike Lebron 6 via Getty Images

Before, a majority of the sneaker needed to match the team’s uniform and this did not allow players to express their personality out on the court. However, in 2018, the NBA took away those restrictions. This allowed players to wear any color shoe they wanted on court and led to players wearing all kinds of crazy colored shoes. This wave has been sweeping across the NBA, getting players to invest in hundreds of shoes just to show off on the court.

Back in 2019 ESPN did a story on the Houston Rockets forward, P.J. Tucker. They claimed that he is the undisputed sneaker king of the NBA. He has over a thousand pairs of shoes and, according to the ESPN article, he spent over $200,000 on sneakers the previous year. It looks like he has almost every Nike and Jordan basketball shoe ever made in his multiple closets. His shoes range from something you can find on a shelf at a sporting goods store to an exclusive shoe only limited to friends and family of the brand. It does not matter how expensive the shoe is Tucker will play in any shoe.

PJ Tucker (Houston Rockets) Photos by Andy Batt

This was just the beginning and Tucker was the one of the first players to start this trend of playing in older sneakers. Shoe companies like Nike have even started hopping on this trend by remaking older models of shoes, but with today’s technology. They have even been making exclusive shoes for only the players to wear in games that have unique colors on them.

Tucker wearing his own customized Kobe 5 that Nike allowed him to customize via Nice Kicks

The NBA can take advantage of this recent trend of wearing unique shoes by marketing the players that choose to participate in this trend. When advertising for an upcoming game, they can highlight someone like Tucker in their advertisement. They can play into the mystery of what shoe he is going to wear for his next game. The NBA can also contact Tucker and have him give sneak peaks into what type of shoe he will wear for his next game. This will spread the game and hopefully interest a new type of audience that is passionate about sneakers. 

3 thoughts on “Sneaker Talk in the NBA

  1. I like your ideas for how the NBA can work with this trend instead of against it. Giving sneak peeks of what shoe a popular player will wear before a game is likely to drive increased viewing of the game, especially if the shoe is new or rare. I know some people are really invested in sneakers, but the idea of spending $200,000 on them in a single year is mind blowing to me! Thanks for your post, it was fun to read about something completely new to me.

  2. I’m fairly new to sneakerhead culture and this article was an interesting read. I had no idea about P.J Tucker being the king of sneakers in the NBA. I wish you would’ve provided some examples of older sneakers that are reappearing on the courts. Thanks for this post!

  3. I really enjoyed your post. I’m a huge NBA fan and I always love seeing what kind of shoes the players are wearing. It’s crazy how big of a collection PJ Tucker has. I couldn’t even imagine how many shoes he has had since his NBA career has begun.

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