The Wildest Non-Basketball Sneakers Worn in an NBA Game
NBA players haven't always stuck to the confines of traditional basketball sneakers.
In the past, before sneaker brands used science and data to determine the perfect designs and materials, hoopers wore whatever kicks felt comfortable. Today, even after decades of research has proved what works best in protecting ankles and providing support without weighing players down, certain guys still choose to go in their own footwear direction.
You look good, you play good, right? So why not focus on getting Likes while also focusing on getting buckets?
Below is a rundown featuring five of the wildest non-basketball sneakers ever worn on an NBA court. We'll discuss why each selection was outlandish and, more importantly, who was bold enough to wear each shoe.
Nick Young: Adidas Yeezy Boost 750
Who: Los Angeles Lakers guard Nick Young
Sneaker: Adidas Yeezy Boost 750
Date: December 12, 2015
Over his time with the Los Angeles Lakers, Nick Young has become an off-beat cardholder in the NBA's rising sneaker community. He spent a touring year with Nike before signing on with Adidas in 2015, per Nick DePaula of NiceKicks.com.
His first year with the three-stripe brand showcased just about everything new and used in their arsenal. But it was Young's decision to wear Kanye West's Yeezy Boost 750 that generated fresh attention.
The sneakers, constructed for casual use, were an odd choice to wear on an NBA court. The flimsy upper offers little support in an athletic capacity. Aside from Boost sole, nothing about the sneaker makes any type of basketball sense.
Don't tell that to Young. He wore the kicks with pride, showcasing why his style remains a perfect fit for the city of Los Angeles.
P.J. Tucker: Nike Air Yeezy 2 'Red October'
Who: Toronto Raptors forward P.J. Tucker
Sneaker: Nike Air Yeezy 2 "Red October"
Date: November 12, 2015
P.J. Tucker's NBA career may not have produced a resume full of All-Star Game appearances and NBA titles when he finally decides to hang up his kicks; however, the veteran Toronto Raptors forward will go down as having one of the cleanest sneaker collections in history.
Switching between timeless Air Jordan retros and outlandish non-basketball kicks like the Nike Air Yeezy 2 "Red October," Tucker has spent his entire career flexing on fellow court-dwellers.
Rocking the Air Yeezy 2 "Red October" was the ultimate stunt. Besides having a ridiculous resell value—the last sale on StockX reached $4,402—the shoe features zero NBA qualities.
To each their own. But for Tucker, on-foot style matters and he's shown that during his six-year career.
Thabo Sefolosha: Nike Air Max
Who: Atlanta Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha
Sneaker Worn: Nike Air Max 90
Thabo Sefolosha has been running with Nike's Air Max line for two seasons now. The veteran forward began his pursuit of finding a non-basketball sneaker in 2015 and continued to go down that path this season, per ESPN.com's Eric Yebdoah.
Sefolosha's rotation between the Air Max 1 and Air Max 90 has been a statement. A statement that has advanced his standing in the sneaker world.
Going an entire NBA season in Nike running shoes is an accomplishment in its own right. The lack of traditional basketball sneaker support—not to mention ankle protection—makes any Nike Air Max model a unique choice for the toughest basketball league on earth.
Gilbert Arenas: Dolce & Gabbana Patent High
Who: Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas
Sneaker Worn: Dolce & Gabbana Patent High
Date: December 7, 2010
Gilbert Arenas may no longer be on an NBA roster, but his legacy lives on through a series of controversial moments and dope sneaker choices.
Perhaps the most outlandish pair of non-basketball kicks Arenas wore was in 2010 versus the Los Angeles Lakers. It was there, on Kobe Bryant's home court, where Arenas wore a heavy, clunky, reflective pair of Dolce & Gabbana Patent Highs.
The sneaker sort of looks like a hoops sneaker from a distance. However, it's the total opposite. No fixed lace structure and overbearing support straps give this shoe a real lack of NBA character.
It was all in a day's work for Agent Zero. Instead of slogging around, he lit up Los Angeles to the tune of 23 points and four assists.
LeBron James: Nike Air Yeezy 2 'Red October'
Who: Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James
Sneaker Worn: Nike Air Yeezy 2 "Red October"
Date: June 7, 2014
OK, so LeBron didn't wear these Air Yeezy 2's during an actual NBA game like P.J. Tucker did, but since LeBron James is LeBron James, it would a shame if we didn't include the moment when he practiced in Kanye West's classic sneaker design.
As a staunch supporter and lifetime member of Team Nike, it was only natural for King James to rock the Red Octobers during a Miami Heat practice session before Game 2 of the 2014 NBA Finals. Taking jumpers and driving the lane, James' experience was done with style and grace.
Maybe the King will shock us all and rock these in front of a bigger audience? Doubtful, but hey, we can always dream.
All stats and information courtesy of NBA.com. unless noted otherwise.