NBA B/R Kicks of the Week: Best on Court for NBA Week 16
When all else fails, you can count on Bleacher Report's Kicks of the Week segment to provide you with all the can't-miss footwear selections from the NBA.
This week, we explore a special tribute to Kobe Bryant's footwear line, Anta's return to prominence and a retro pair of the Nike Kyrie 3s that has drawn plenty of attention to the Cleveland Cavaliers guard.
Overall, it's been another terrific week for sneakers. Find out which kicks made the list below.
James Johnson: Nike Kobe 5 'Prelude'
Who: Miami Heat forward James Johnson
Sneaker Worn: Nike Kobe 5 "Prelude"
Miami Heat role player James Johnson elevated his taste levels by unleashing the Nike Kobe 5 "Prelude," which was first released as a special pack in 2014.
The shoe was inspired by the use of pop art and Bryant's NBA Finals-winning appearance in 2009. It was the first true retro sneaker to emerge from the Nike camp regarding Bryant himself.
We hadn't seen the Kobe 5 "Prelude" hit an NBA floor until Johnson displayed them against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday. After a two-year hiatus, the kicks look better than ever, and Johnson deserves credit for bringing them back into the fold.
Klay Thompson: Anta KT2 'MLK'
Who: Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson
Sneaker Worn: Anta KT2 "MLK"
Klay Thompson's personal line with the Chinese sportswear label Anta has given the Golden State Warriors guard his own divergent footwear product outside of Nike and Under Armour—labels some of his teammates sport.
With Anta by his side, Thompson has displayed a different variation of kicks without comprising quality or design.
The "MLK" model, centered on the accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., has been one of the best-looking colorways to date. It features a black-and-gold look, paint splatters across the sidewall and a sturdy sole.
Worn against the Sacramento Kings on February 4, the "MLK" Anta KT2 remains available to consumers.
Norman Powell: Nike Kobe 11 iD
Who: Toronto Raptors forward Norman Powell
Sneaker Worn: Nike Kobe 11 iD
The Kobe Bryant on-court experiment is apparently an epidemic in Toronto. Besides DeMar DeRozan—the supreme leader of the Nike Kobe line—his teammate Norman Powell also dabbles in all things Bryant.
On February 5 against the Brooklyn Nets, Powell put his affinity for NikeiD—the company's customization platform—on display by rocking a specialized pair of Kobe 11s.
The multi-tone look created a snakeskin feel. Drenched in red and black, this Kobe 11 also meshes perfectly with the Raptors' uniforms. It was a strong choice, one dope enough to put DeRozan on notice.
Kyrie Irving: Nike Kyrie 3 'Player Exclusive'
Who: Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving
Sneaker Worn: Nike Kyrie 3 "Player Exclusive"
The "Player Exclusive" Nike Kyrie 3s, worn by Kyrie Irving himself against the Washington Wizards on February 6, represent the 1960s in a lot of ways.
Thanks to a cosmic, wavy pattern, these kicks channel a time before cable television, Netflix and Irving himself dropping game-winners on opposing athlete's heads.
Without a proper name to date, this "Player Exclusive" model will remain a consumer's dream. It was more than worthy of making this week's list.
Russell Westbrook: Air Jordan 30.5 'Player Exclusive'
Who: Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook
Sneaker Worn: Air Jordan 30.5 "Player Exclusive"
Russell Westbrook has carried the Jordan Brand name for a few seasons now. He usually can be seen rocking the latest Air Jordan cut, putting in copious amounts of work behind all of that leather and rubber.
Westbrook has used his remarkable 2016-17 campaign to defy Jordan Brand by wearing a hybrid shoe. This Air Jordan 30.5 is a cross between the current 31 model and last season's 30.
It's a specialized pair of kicks that has clearly served King Russ well. His Thunder comrades are in the thick of the Western Conference playoff hunt, while Westbrook himself is putting up MVP-like numbers.