The 2013 NBA rookie class may still be fighting for recognition in basketball circles, but several of the top picks just received a seal of approval from hoops royalty.
Victor Oladipo (the No. 2 overall pick), Otto Porter Jr. (No. 3) and Cody Zeller (No. 4) have all joined the Jordan Brand, per NikeInc.com. Michael Jordan himself spoke on the newest additions to the Jumpman roster:
We are excited to add Victor, Otto and Cody to the Jordan family. As we continue to expand and improve our performance product, these young players will be a big part of our efforts around the game of basketball.
Oladipo, Porter and Zeller aren't the biggest names (yet), but all three are good finds for the iconic brand.
Oladipo's had the hoops world buzzing since his summer league play, and his first two runs with the Orlando Magic have yet to diminish his star (13.0 points and 4.5 rebounds in 29.5 minutes a game). Porter's Washington Wizards debut has been delayed by a nagging hip injury, but he should hit the ground running when healthy with his NBA-ready set of skills.
Via HoopsHype.com, Zeller is the fourth Bobcat (Jordan's franchise) to fall under the Jumpman's umbrella. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Jeffery Taylor have their own endorsement deals with the brand, and teammate Bismack Biyombo dons the brand during games. CBS Sports' Matt Moore said this "must be a nice perk for being a Bobcat."
Which shoe brand would you sign with?
Consider these signings a win for the traditional shoe powers.
Jordan's allure will always be strong, though. Thank the company front man and his six NBA championship rings for that.
Whether his shoes actually help these players follow in his footsteps remains to be seen. But I have a sneaking suspicion that I know which player Jordan hopes will be the one to do it.