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Seat Pleasant’s prodigal son, Kevin Durant, recently returned to his hometown to unveil his latest signature shoe, the Nike KD VI. Returning to a low-cut model after going to a mid-cut for the KD V, Durant’s latest signature packs in several of Nike’s latest advancements in a slick, lightweight package. On the day of the launch, we had a chance to sit down with Durant and discuss what went into his latest signature shoe, the special “Bamboo” colorway, China’s basketball culture and his favorite off-court kicks.
For the KD V you had a mid-cut, for the KD V Elite you went low, and now you’ve brought the low-cut back again. Do you prefer the low? Is that something that in general we’ll be seeing down the line a little more?
Yeah, I played with the lows on around four years ago. I remember trying them on and I liked how they felt – it felt free. So about a year ago, right after I finished making the Five, they started asking me which way I wanted to go with the Six and I took it low, and they went back to the drawing board and came up with these. I played in them – I’ve been playing in them for the last three weeks, and I’m looking forward to the day when they drop and then people see them, and I’m also looking forward to playing in them during the season.
You visited Shanghai last year, how did you like the city?
I loved it, there’s always something fun going on there. People are so enthused about the game of basketball and shoes, I remember seeing the flyest people over there in Shanghai. It’s always fun. It’s crazy to think I’m going around the world because I play the game of basketball, I just appreciate all the people that provide that opportunity for me and never take it for granted. It’s something that I still can’t get over, I came from a small town in Maryland and now I’m going around the world to play basketball.
You’ll be launching some new shoes during the Shanghai city trip, including the Bamboo style. What do you expect of the launch?
This a really different shoe, a lot of people haven’t seen a shoe like this. It’s so low, the tongue is different, and it just overall looks different. It might not “fit” a lot of people at first but after a little while they’re going to gravitate towards it. I’m looking forward to seeing it in a week or two from now when it really comes out, and the different colorways come out, and then see what [people] really think about it.
We saw four different colorways today, you talked today about different stories behind the colorways. Are we going to see any other stories affect the colorways down the line?
We’ve got a lot of different [colorways] going on. I liked the cartoon “Rugrats” when I was a kid and so we’ve got a Rugrats-inspired colorway coming soon. [Aside from that] we’ve got the all-star colorway, the “Aunt Pearl” colorway, and a Sour Patch Kids-inspired one. And then we’ve got stuff that I’ve colored up. I think when people start to see different colors they’re going to start to like them. And I wore some of them out – I wore the Black Preheat out with some pants and everybody was like “what are those right there,” and then my boys wore them, and everybody wanted a pair of those. So when they see the new colorways coming out I think they’re going to like them.
“This a really different shoe, a lot of people haven’t seen a shoe like this. It’s so low, the tongue is different, and it just overall looks different. It might not “fit” a lot of people at first but after a little while they’re going to gravitate towards it.”
Kevin Durant speaks about the new Bamboo style shoe
We also saw you were wearing the NSW KD’s, are those for general release or are those just for you?
Those are going to be released in August.
And were you involved in the design of that?
I was very involved in everything, I had my input on everything – so if I was like I hate this, fix this, then we’d take it back to the drawing board and bring something new back. That’s how much we work together at Nike, that’s why I love the partnership. We have four or five different colorways that [are] coming out and it’ll be something different for off the court. I love the design and I’m sure people are going to start to buy those too.
So is that going to be a regular thing? (e.g. like LeBron and Kobe)
Yeah it’s going to be a part of my line, I’ve got my own season now. Those guys had their own seasons and that’s where I started having these NSW’s and I was able to get the same thing those guys are doing. I have my own season now so I’m [again] able to get the same thing those guys are getting. It all comes through from playing basketball, I love it and I just need to keep working so I can keep getting small stuff like this.
“I had my input on everything – so if I was like I hate this, fix this, then we’d take it back to the drawing board and bring something new back. That’s how much we work together at Nike, that’s why I love the partnership.”
Kevin Durant speaks about working with Nike
Since you’re from D.C. I’m guessing you’re probably a huge Foams fan, are there any other particular kicks that are favorites for you?
All the Penny’s. Of course the Foams were a part of that line, but definitely all the Penny’s. All the Penny’s that came out, from the 1’s, to the [the weatherman’s] model that had the Foam detailing on the side – they’re weird looking but everyone in this area was crazy about them. We have a different style here in D.C., it’s crazy the stuff that we like.
Would you ever play in any shoes aside from your signatures?
I played in some Kobe’s before, obviously I can’t in a real game because I’ve got my own shoes, but I’ve practiced with them on before, and I’ve practiced in the Foams before, the LeBrons. I like to try on different shoes because I wear mine all the time, but Nike is the best brand in the world and I’m happy to be a part of it.
“I played in some Kobe’s before, obviously I can’t in a real game because I’ve got my own shoes, but I’ve practiced with them on before, and I’ve practiced in the Foams before, the LeBrons.”
Kevin Durant speaks about playing in any other shoe besides his signatures