Nike Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of LeBron James' First NBA Game with Special Zoom LeBron NXXT Gen PE

Inspired by the Air Zoom Generation ‘Bron wore for his debut — which, just like last night’s game, was against the Sacramento Kings.

Footwear
7,896 Hypes 1 Comments

On October 29, 2003, LeBron James made his NBA debut with a 25-point, nine-assist, six-rebound, four-steal performance in a 92-106 loss to the Sacramento Kings, announcing his arrival as a bright beacon of hope for the moribund Cleveland Cavaliers and a budding superstar in the league. 20 years and 39,696 more points later, James is a four-time NBA Champion, four-time NBA MVP and the league’s all-time leading scorer, held aloft as one of the greatest players in NBA history.

James’ footwear journey with Nike also began that night in 2003, as he stepped onto the court in the Air Zoom Generation, his first signature shoe. Last night, James was back in Sacramento as his Los Angeles Lakers‘ faced off with the Kings, 20 years to the day of his debut, and he commemorated the occasion with a homage-filled PE colorway of the Zoom LeBron NXXT Gen.

Boasting a near-identical white, black and red color scheme to the Air Zoom Generation that LeBron made his debut in, the Zoom LeBron NXXT Gen discarded the standard synthetic textile construction of its counterparts in favor of a throwback leather build and also added chromed-out top eyestays plus a “First Game” hit on the heel, though it did retain some of the new model’s signature design details like the doubled-up midfoot Swooshes. As he often does, James wrote “B.B.Z.” on his shoes with a black Sharpie for a loving nod to his children: Bronny, Bryce and Zhuri.

This PE is the latest chapter in Nike’s push to bring more attention to the Zoom LeBron NXXT Gen, an alternate model that’s a supplement to the LeBron 21. More a counterpart to the LeBron 21 than a continuation of the budget-conscious takedown shoes that Nike has released for NBA athletes like James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant in the past, it’s received collaborations — FaZe Clan and TITAN — and been spotlighted with special makeups, putting it on equal footing with its “big brother” silhouette.

Since this colorway was a PE created for LeBron, it won’t see a retail release. However, several other colorways of the Zoom LeBron NXXT Gen are available now via the Nike webstore.

And, for the record, James’ most recent trip to Sacramento ended much the same way his first one did: the Lakers fell to the Kings 127-132, though he put up 27 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists. Another fun fact: no player from that Kings team LeBron played against as a rookie is still in the NBA, and Kings rookie Colby Jones was born just 17 months before James’ NBA debut.

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

First Look at the Nike Zoom LeBron NXXT Gen "FAMU"
Footwear

First Look at the Nike Zoom LeBron NXXT Gen "FAMU"

As a part of his six-year endorsement and apparel deal with Florida A&M.

Official Look at the Nike Zoom LeBron NXXT Gen "Summit Lake Hornets"
Footwear

Official Look at the Nike Zoom LeBron NXXT Gen "Summit Lake Hornets"

Arriving next year.

Official Images of the Nike Zoom LeBron NXXT Gen Ampd "Multi-Color"
Footwear

Official Images of the Nike Zoom LeBron NXXT Gen Ampd "Multi-Color"

Coming early next year.


Official Look at the Liverpool FC x Nike LeBron NXXT Gen AMPD Release
Footwear

Official Look at the Liverpool FC x Nike LeBron NXXT Gen AMPD Release

An official release date is set for next month.

Google Commits $2B USD Investment to OpenAI Rival Anthropic
Tech & Gadgets

Google Commits $2B USD Investment to OpenAI Rival Anthropic

Following $4 billion from Amazon last month.

The Nike Air Max Furyosa Reappears in "Sanddrift"
Footwear

The Nike Air Max Furyosa Reappears in "Sanddrift"

A fall-ready finish for the futuristic design.

South African Designer Lukhanyo Mdingi Wins the 2023 AMIRI Prize
Fashion 

South African Designer Lukhanyo Mdingi Wins the 2023 AMIRI Prize

In conversation with Hypebeast, the designer explains how he hopes to utilize the award’s $100,000 grant and year-long mentorship from Mike Amiri.

Pharrell's adidas Humanrace Samba Returns in Two Colorways
Footwear

Pharrell's adidas Humanrace Samba Returns in Two Colorways

Launching later this week.

Has Phoebe Philo Done It Again?
Fashion 

Has Phoebe Philo Done It Again?

Almost six years after exiting Celine, the prolific designer has returned with the first delivery under her eagerly-awaited namesake label — and it’s just as strong as we hoped.


OVO Previews 'For All The Dogs' Varsity Jacket
Fashion

OVO Previews 'For All The Dogs' Varsity Jacket

Available for preorder now.

These Are the Best Places to Buy Vintage Golf Gear
Golf

These Are the Best Places to Buy Vintage Golf Gear

Our favorite stores, brands and online marketplaces that are turning back the clock.

The Best Shakeouts, Pop-Ups and Parties Around the 2023 New York Marathon
Sports

The Best Shakeouts, Pop-Ups and Parties Around the 2023 New York Marathon

There’s a lot going on the week of the 2023 New York Marathon — here’s our guide to the best of the best.

Holiday Is Bringing Back Signature and Unreleased Styles for SURPLUS Release
Fashion

Holiday Is Bringing Back Signature and Unreleased Styles for SURPLUS Release

Everything will be $10 USD.

Kendrick Lamar’s pgLang Partners With Light for Minimal Smartphone
Tech & Gadgets

Kendrick Lamar’s pgLang Partners With Light for Minimal Smartphone

The Light Phone offers no internet browsing, emailing or social media.

More ▾
 
We got you covered. Don’t miss out on the latest news by signing up for our newsletters.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.