Ahead of this year’s NBA Playoff race Nike, Jordan Brand and Converse will pay homage to the difficult journey it take to raise championship hardware. Placing emphasis on the 16 wins it takes to raise an NBA Championship, that number will be matched with releases commemorating unforgettable playoff moments from the likes of LeBon James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Michael Jordan, Ray Allen and much more.
Things kicked off at Nike’s headquarters in New York City with a panel hosted by ESPN’s own Cari Champion. Joining Champion were NBA legends Ray Allen, Rasheed Wallace and Julius Erving. The three discussed the new style of today’s game in comparison with the past in addition to reminiscing about pivotal playoff moments in their own careers. Following the talk, we were presented with a first look at Nike’s Art of a Champion Collection boasting 15 sneakers, with the 16th to be determined by this year’s NBA Champion.
Take a look above at the experience and below for official images of the releases to come.
The Nike umbrella is led by numerous basketball retros. Among the selection you’ll find the Kobe 1 Protro, Zoom Soldier LeBron 1 and the KD IV. You’ll also find classic iterations of the Air Force 1 model with Rasheed Wallace’s high iteration and a special low cut edition dedicated to Moses Malone. Scottie Pippen‘s Air Maestro 2 also makes the cut in addition to the new Air Force 270 hybrid sneaker.
Jordan Brand joins the celebration led by the Air Jordan 14 “Last Shot.” A special Air Jordan XX8 makes the cut honoring Ray Allen’s historic shot in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Spurs. Next up is a “Pass the Torch” Air Jordan 1 inspired by Kawhi Leonard‘s MVP performance in the NBA Finals. Closing out Jordan Brand’s selection is Air Jordan 11 Low “Rook to Queen.” This colorway sheds light on Maya Moore‘s rookie year in which she led the Minnesota Lynx to its first championship.
Converse closes thing out with a few classics. The legends Bill Russell, Julius Erving, Kevin McHale and Wes Unseld are honored respectively through the Chuck 70 Ox, Converse Pro Leather Mid, Fastbreak Hi and Star Player Ox silhouettes. Each sneaker provides the blueprint to the innovation we see in basketball footwear today through simplicity and style.
Stay tuned for additional information and let us know your thoughts about Nike’s Art of a Champion Collection.