After almost a month of coronavirus-related delays and a tremendous amount of uncertainty, the 2021 NBA All-Star Game was finally played in Atlanta on March 7. As is par for the course in the modern-day NBA, it was a high-scoring, high-style affair that saw dunks, deep threes and dashing signature sneakers — one of the most notable styles of which was Kawhi Leonard‘s New Balance KAWHI in “Neo Flame.”
Inspired by Kawhi’s love of the game, the “Neo Flame” supplies a two-tone pink upper: vivid neon pink appears on the toebox overlays and mudguard while a more reddish pink is used on the quarter panels. A signature thumbprint graphic is present on the quarters, and a large black New Balance hit is embossed on the pink heel clip below Kawhi’s autograph on the collar.
The shoe’s most striking details arrive on its black tongue. Tags swap out New Balance’s standard “The Intelligent Choice” tagline for a “The Romantic Choice” hit, nodding to Kawhi’s love for the game, and, likely, the date it was originally supposed to release — the All-Star Game is usually played on Valentine’s Day weekend. A small heart is embroidered on the tongue’s top left corner, and down below responsive FuelCell midsoles work with translucent herringbone outsoles to provide comfort and court feel.
An official release date for the New Balance KAWHI “Neo Flame” has yet to be announced, but it’s set to arrive on the New Balance webstore and at retailers like Foot Locker in the coming weeks. The MSRP is set at $160 USD.
For more from the world of New Balance, check out the brand’s SDL750 sandal.