Nike Heads Back to the Drawing Board for LeBron James' Pair of New LeBron 11s

Gabe ZaldivarPop Culture Lead WriterDecember 6, 2013

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Nike is currently "redefining" the LeBron 11, which is a fancy word for giving the shoe an overhaul amid expletives because LeBron James can't stand to wear them.

We might be assuming on the expletives. 

ProBasketballTalk's Kurt Helin reports LeBron isn't all that fond of his new sneakers, wearing them all of two times. 

James continues to wear last year's model, the LeBron 10, while having another fantastic season, which has left the shoe company to head back and tweak the current model. 

James spoke to ESPN about his plight: 

I just want to be able to wear them. It has been a frustrating process. But obviously, I know that Nike wants to do what's best. They're not going to put me out there in harm's way. So we're redefining the shoe to fit what's best for my foot.

MIAMI, FL - NOVEMBER 25: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat showcases his sneakers against the Phoenix Suns on November 25, 2013 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or
Victor Baldizon/Getty Images


The ESPN report by Darren Rovell and Michael Wallace states fans on message boards have noticed James changing out of the new shoes as early as the first timeout of a game. 

At the heart of the issue is fit. It seems the shoes marketed as lightweight don't sit well on James' feet. The interesting part is Nike designed them so the Heat star could apparently "feel the court" better. 

Well, that feeling is causing him distress.

James continues, "I could wear them, but they don't feel as great as I want them to feel. So we're redefining them, and I feel like this next round is going to be perfect."

Now, this isn't all doom and gloom surrounding one of the bigger shoe releases of the year. From what it sounds like, Nike merely needs to make a few tweaks to the shoe to meet James' taste. They also have the perfect shoe, the LeBron 10, to work from. 

Nov 25, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) is introduced before the game against the Phoenix Suns at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

As Helin notes, James has been wearing that iteration to some success, averaging 25.7 points per game on 58.4 percent shooting.

However, The Wall Street Journal's Sara Germano notes a man of James' talent isn't restricted by the comfort of his shoes. 

James donned the 11s on Nov. 25 for the entirety of the Heat's matchup with the Suns, scoring 35 points in the eventual win. 

Germano also spoke with James' manager, Maverick Carter, who explained a bit more fully, "It's not that they hurt. It's just to make the shoe exactly perfect. He's a six-foot-eight, 250 pound guy, he runs at speeds none of us are used to. You don't know until you're in the game."

So hold your head up high. If you were lucky enough to get a pair, you have some truly wonderful shoes. However, those 6'8", 250-pound men wandering around might need a little tailoring on their respective pair.


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