Grading All-Star Game Kicks of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Kevin Durant

Josh BenjaminCorrespondent IJanuary 22, 2013

photo courtesy of
photo courtesy of

Though fans love the NBA All-Star Game for the chance to watch the league's best players face off against one another, the players' sneakers also get a lot of love. For this year's game, three of basketball's biggest stars in LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant have set a new standard for what players should wear on their feet.

What I mean, of course, is that all three have lowered the bar regarding makes for a good shoe.



All-Star game kicks for LeBron, Kobe, & KD (via @nikebasketball)…

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 22, 2013




I'm not a fashion expert by any means, but you don't need to know a lot about clothes and/or footwear to realize that these sneakers are some of the most over the top and ugliest kicks to ever be created. Why anyone would want to put these on their feet for any reason is beyond me.

In fact, let's have a look at each aspect of the shoes just so everyone knows why they're so unbelievably bad.


Looks: LeBron James' Shoe

On looks alone, James' shoe is really not that bad. It's a decent high-top, and the build of it is overall good.

There is also plenty of cushion available, so at least James will be comfortable while wearing them. Other than that, there is not much to say about the sneaker.

Grade: A

Looks: Kobe Bryant's Shoe

Unlike James' sneaker, Bryant has opted for a low-top. It's a solid design, though it does look more like a running shoe than one used for basketball.

Regardless of that, it's pretty standard and there is not much to criticize nor praise about it. As far as low-tops go, it's par for the course.

Grade: A


Looks: Kevin Durant's Shoe

Durant's shoe is not much different than James', but is definitely a bit narrower. This could just be due to size, but I can't help but look at it and feel that it's a bit lacking in overall look.

Again, I'm not a fashion expert by any means, but I know enough about shopping for sneakers and what to look for in a good-looking one. There should be a little bit of punch in the overall shape and while this sneaker certainly has some, there should just be a little bit more.

Grade: B


Color: LeBron James' Shoe

I'm sorry but unless LeBron James is playing for the Toronto Raptors in the 1990s, there is no reason he should be wearing a purple sneaker. This one looks like it was dipped in grape jelly, left out in the sun to dry, and then painted where needed.

I know that isn't the case, but let's get serious for a second. Where did James come up with this shoe? Did he take a trip to McDonaldland beat Grimace in a pickup game and take his shoes as a bounty?

More importantly, if that's the case, did Hamburglar serve as referee?

Either way, there's nothing good that can be said about James' All-Star kicks. If the high-top itself weren't of a good shape to begin with, then its grade would be far lower.

Grade: D-


Color: Kobe Bryant's Shoe

Kobe, you know I love you, but you know that you can wear a sneaker way better than this one. The orange and green were good ideas, but not with this style. These sneakers look like something more suited for a semi-pro team from Florida.

In fact, the colors remind me very much of the Will Ferrell comedy Semi-Pro. For those of you who have seen the movie, you'll see how similar the colors of Bryant's sneakers are to the uniforms of the Flint Tropics.

Lucky for Kobe, I'm a Will Ferrell fan, otherwise this grade would be much harsher.

Grade: D+


Color: Kevin Durant's Shoe

I look at Durant's shoe and while I am a fan of the color, it's still just a little too intense. Instead of the classy kicks an NBA player should wear, these instead look like the sneakers someone like Freakazoid would wear.

Granted, Durant is a freak athlete with freakishly excellent skills, but there's no reason he should be wearing sneakers like these. Apart from the Freakazoid aspect, they look like they've been dipped in Mountain Dew.

Mountain Dew may be tasty and refreshing, but it does not belong on anybody's sneakers, especially Durant's.

Grade: D


Design: LeBron James' Shoe

As I mentioned before, James' shoe is a well-designed high-top. The general build is nice, and the only bad thing I can say about it is that the color is horrific and that the side looks a bit like an audio speaker.

Otherwise, the logo is well-placed and the shape works.

Grade: B


Design: Kobe Bryant's Shoe

I largely prefer low-tops when shopping for my own sneakers, so I definitely dig the design on Kobe's kicks. All colors aside, the shape is perfect and the logo is in an amazing position. The shoe screams Nike, and who isn't a fan of them?

Grade: A-


Design: Kevin Durant's Shoe

Durant's shoe is very much like James' in terms of overall look, but the design itself is a bit strange. As I mentioned before, the overall shape of the shoe seems to be lacking something.

Other than that, the logo is in the right place and the shoe sort of works, but there is one other aspect of it that just seems off.

Look at the logo on the tongue. Am I the only one who thinks that it looks like Mike Wazowski gone wrong?

Throw in the weird color, and this shoe's overall design is just off.

Grade: B-


Final Thoughts

Look, I understand that players like to wear unique sneakers. Unfortunately, last I checked, the definition of unique was not ridiculous colors combined with a respectable brand.

As a result, it's impossible to not give these All-Star Game sneakers a bad grade even though three of the game's best players are wearing them. They are footwear nightmares, and I feel sorry for any store that decides to sell them in bulk.

These sneakers are just plain bad, and the players choosing to wear them are way too good to subject their feet to such nightmarish kicks.

Final Grade: D+