Only a select few in basketball reach the rarified air of the signature sneaker deal. Michael Jordan will forever be the bar for NBA player kicks, but several others have followed in Mike’s footsteps to cosign some classic and not-so-memorable sneakers. Kobe, LeBron and Melo followed the Nike blueprint, while Warriors’ stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson chose less traveled paths with Under Armour and Anta, respectively.
Even with Asian and indie brands signing players, the number of NBA and WNBA players signing signature deals is few and far between. There are quite a few players that we believe deserve that look. Here is a list of the top choices. Hope the shoe manufacturers are paying attention.
1. Joel Embiid
If Joel Embiid can stay healthy he will be an All-Star for the next decade. He’s already one of the league’s more entertaining characters with his outgoing personality and constant jokes. Embiid is an adidas guy, could he be the big man to change the tradition of wack adidas signatures?
2. Maya Moore
Now this one is a little tricky, because in 2011 Moore became the first female athlete to sign an endorsement deal with the Jordan Brand. In 2015, Nike made a retail shoe for Moore, and in September of this year, Jordan released a pair of Jordan 1 Retros and Jordan 10 Retros “as a tribute” to Moore, but they technically aren’t her own show. As the face of the WNBA, it’s about time she gets one.
3. Giannis Antek…Anketo…Antekoun….THE GREEK FREAK D#%M IT!
Giannis recently signed a deal with Nike, and a signature is rumored to be on the way by next season. The terms of Giannis’ deal are unknown at the time, but one would assume Nike isn’t going to let him go ANY time soon. Some say after LeBron retires, it’ll be Giannis’ league…and his shoe will probably be some fire.
4. Candace Parker
Candace Parker took over college hoops and Maya Moore soon followed, which was pretty cool to watch happen. Candace Parker, as expected, has been an absolute beast in the WNBA, being a four-time All-Star and winning the MVP twice. With Parker dominating whoever she’s played since middle school, it’s about time she gets recognized.
5. Ben Simmons
So far in his rookie season, the hype around Simmons is being recognized as a special talent. Of course, Sixers fans knew all along because all you had to do was #TrustTheProcess. It’s high praise, but the 6’11” Simmons is looking like a young Magic Johnson this season averaging 17.8, 9.8 and 7.8 in 11 games. And it’s safe to say fans should expect his shoe very soon.
Fowles has only been one of the best centers in the game since she’s been in the WNBA. In 10 seasons out of LSU, Folwes has won the WNBA Finals MVP twice and won her first league in MVP this past season. Big men shoes rarely do numbers, perhaps its time for a company to try to market a shoe for a female front court player.
Melo left and Porzingod has been feasting on the competition. He’s led the Knicks to a far better start than anyone could have predicted. It would be pretty awesome to see a Latvian born player get a shoe. This guys got the swag and the game to pull it off.
Delle Donne was a hometown hero in Delaware and is already leaving her mark on WNBA basketball. In just five seasons, she’s already a four-time All-Star and won the league’s MVP in 2015. “Delle Donne’s” sounds like a pretty lit shoe name, too. Under Armour needs to step up their efforts to women and B-More is a close to Delaware and DC. Sounds like a no brainer to us.