Saturday, January 29 2022
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The NBA sneaker scene will be much different this season than in years past. With Nike stopping production of the long-lasting Kobe Bryant line this offseason, more players will be without the kicks that were a continuous presence across the league for over a decade. There have already been reports of players struggling to find Nike Kobe sneakers and even having to resort to hitting the secondary sneaker market to stock up on the kicks that were otherwise readily available before.

While some players will eventually run out of Kobe sneakers, there are other hoopers in the NBA that have been so plugged in with the famous line that they might not ever feel the absence of newer releases. That club of players is very small so we’ll be featuring how players are adjusting to the change and utilizing other kicks throughout the season.

Now let’s see who’s bringing the sneaker heat this week.

Sneakers Featured: Nike Zoom Freak 3

The reigning Finals MVP has finally been lacing up his latest signature shoe with Nike, the Zoom Freak 3. This model brings another unique design to Antetokounmpo’s signature line that has seen a lot of success since the launch of his first shoe a couple of seasons ago. As other NBA players begin to feel the impact of the Nike Kobe shortage, the Zoom Freak 3 could be a model picked up by other Nike athletes. Expect to see a ton more flashy colorways of the Zoom Freak 3, including something special for the holiday season when the Bucks face the Celtics on Christmas Day.

Sneakers Feature: Jordan 35 PE

After Zion Williamson launched his signature shoe with Jordan Brand this past season, one of the more logical guesses as to who’s next in line for a signature model with the Jumpman is Mavericks star Luka Doncic. Recently, Doncic has been showing off an extensive collection of player exclusives of the Jordan 35, which shows that he favors that model a lot seeing as how most Jordan Brand athletes are utilizing the most recently released Jordan 36. Can’t really blame Doncic, though, because with PE’s like that it’s hard to make a switch.

Luka Doncic is still showing off his Player Exclusive editions of the Jordan 35. Getty Images

Sneakers Featured: Nike Kobe 3 ‘Rice,’ Nike Kobe Protro 6 PE

The NBA’s perpetual Sneaker King is now in Miami flexing his shoe collection. The moment P.J. Tucker signed with the Heat this offseason, the league’s sneaker world knew big things were coming. Tucker is one of those players across the NBA that likely won’t feel an impact of the Kobe sneaker shortage and you can see that with the gems he pulled out of his vault this week. Expect more of the same from Tucker for the rest of the season.

P.J. Tucker putting other NBA players to shame with his extensive Nike Kobe collection. Getty Images

Sneakers Featured: Nike KD 4 ‘Scoring Title,’ Nike KD 4 ‘Year of the Dragon’

Ja Morant might be the NBA’s Most Improved Player through this point of the season, but there’s nothing too improved about his shoe game and that’s just because he’s always bringing out some heat. As a younger Nike athlete, Morant is probably one of the players that will be more cautious of breaking out his Nike Kobe kicks but he’s doing a great job transitioning to some classics from the Kevin Durant line and newer models from the Kyrie Irving line. His shoe game is versatile and it’s always something impressive.

Ja Morant going deep in his bag with some popular Nike KD 4’s. Getty Images

Sneakers Featured: Nike Kobe 3, Nike Kobe 10 Elite ‘Christmas’

DeMar DeRozan could probably wear a fresh pair of Kobe’s every game and never have to worry about running out of kicks. He’s that plugged in with that line. He’s been a huge figure keeping the Kobe line going in the years since Bryant retired and was one of the few players in the league Nike would bless with player exclusives from that line. With fewer Kobe kicks around the league starting this season, DeRozan will always be a reliable presence as he continues to keep the Nike Kobe legacy alive.

DeMar DeRozan with some vintage kicks from the Nike Kobe collection. Getty Images



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