It’s no secret that the sneaker resale market has blown up. Today, it’s valued at $1 billion and analysts expect that number to continue rising in the coming years. It also seems that more and more people are falling in love with shoes and sneaker culture. These days, Complex, Nice Kicks, HYPEBEAST and WearTesters among others will show you a celebrity’s entire sneaker collection or they’ll take you along as they go shopping for new pairs. And in the social-media era, it’s easier than ever for people to share pictures and videos of their entire collection or their most recent purchase.
Professional athletes have some distinct advantages when it comes to getting their hands on shoes. HoopsHype talked to nine current or former NBA players with impressive sneaker collections to discuss their love of kicks, what’s in their closet and much more. Drew Ruizcontributed to this article.
WHEN DID YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH SHOES AND START COLLECTING THEM?
Rudy Gay, San Antonio Spurs: I started collecting in my junior year of high school. It was one of those things where when I was younger, I really wanted shoes but I couldn’t get them. When I was a junior in high school, I got a job and the first thing I bought was a pair of all white Air Force 1s. I was trying really hard to keep them clean, but it’s basically impossible to keep them fresh, as we all know. I ended up getting a few pairs of those, and then I started buying some new stuff that was coming out. From there, I just kept collecting.
Thaddeus Young, Indiana Pacers: In high school, I started to collect. When I got into ninth grade, I had a real passion for shoes and they started to accumulate. Obviously, I couldn’t afford every pair of shoes that I wanted, but when I did get the money, I’d go buy Js or Nikes and I’d try to keep them for a long time. I actually still have a decent amount of pairs from when I was in high school. That’s when it all started. I just love collecting and the chase of trying to get your hands on a certain pair you’ve wanted for a long time.
Mike Bibby, 14-year NBA veteran: I’ve always loved shoes, but I didn’t start collecting them until I was in the NBA. Growing up, I didn’t have a lot of money to be able to get different pairs of shoes. I only had one pair here and there; I wasn’t able to actually start collecting shoes until I got into the NBA. I’ve always loved them, though. So to be one of the first six athletes to start the Jordan Brand, it’s just an amazing feeling. I know a lot of kids want Jordans and the brand is really popular, so it’s special. The story behind me joining Jordan Brand is pretty simple. David Falk is my agent and he also represented Michael Jordan. He asked me, “Would you want to wear Jordans?” And I said, “Hell yeah!” From then on out, I was in Jordans. The first time I stepped onto an NBA court, I was in Jordans and I never wore any other shoes. To this day, I only wear Jordans.
Stanley Johnson, Detroit Pistons: I’ve always loved shoes, even when I was younger. When I was little, I used to play on a team called AIM HIGH. I used to live in the Los Angeles/Inglewood area but we would play in Orange County and Santa Clarita, so we used to pass the Slauson Swap Meet all the time. I would always stop there and try to get shoes. At that time, I was selling toys at the Orange County Swap Meet so I could make money to buy shoes. My mom bought the first five toys for me to sell and then I kept doing it. I was making my own money, so my mom didn’t have to keep buying me shoes. This was when I was 6 years old! Even when I was younger, I always loved shoes and I wanted shoes to match our different uniforms. When we’d wear our white uniforms for a few nights in a row, I’d want a new pair of white shoes. When we’d wear our blue uniforms, I wanted a pair of blue shoes. It definitely started at a young age. I think one reason I became passionate about shoes is because there was a point when we couldn’t afford them. Once I could afford them and I was able to get what I wanted, my passion for them only grew.
Quentin Richardson, 13-year NBA veteran: My dad wasn’t the type of dad that was spending money on shoes. Growing up, we didn’t get Jordans or any of that stuff. We would pick out shoes from Payless ShoeSource. My pops worked hard, and he wasn’t about to go spend his money on some shoes when we’d just go out and bust them up. When I was in grade school, I got the Payless joints. Then, in high school, I was able to pick out a pair of $50 shoes, so I was the Air Force 1s king. All of the coolest shoes I had when I was younger came from my AAU team. Then, after I got drafted, I joined Jordan Brand and I’ve been with them ever since.
How I landed with Jordan Brand is a cool story. Michael Jordan used to have his annual camp at UC Santa Barbara. I went there when I was in high school and then I was a counselor when I was in college. Every year, he’d have top college players work as counselors, and there were epic counselor pick-up games at night and MJ would play too. After Darius Miles and I were drafted by the Clippers, we moved to L.A. and we decided to go to MJ’s camp again. We knew we could get some great workouts and pick-up games in. When we arrived at the camp, neither of us had a shoe deal. We had a few companies courting us, but nothing was decided. And1 had started sending us a ton of gear, so Darius and I were wearing all kinds of And1 stuff at MJ’s camp. One day, MJ was like, “Why do you guys have And1 stuff on? I thought you were Nike guys?” He was sort of talking junk about it like, “Why do you guys have this trash on?!” We were sitting there laughing and we told him, “We want to be Nike guys, but this is what we’re being sent! Our agent is working on our deals.” Then, MJ told us, “Don’t even worry about it. Ya’ll are going to be with me.” At this point, Mike didn’t really have Jordan Brand; it was just the beginning of it. So we were like, “Okay!” but we had no idea what that meant. Still, we went back to the hotel and we’re yelling, “Mike said we’re with him! We good!” We were still hyped! (laughs) The next day, people from Nike contacted our agent Jeff Wechsler and said, “MJ is going to have this group of athletes that he hand-picks and you guys are in.” When we got home from camp the next week, there were a ton of shoes waiting for us. He wanted us out of that And1 stuff immediately! I’m from Chicago and I grew up watching MJ, so to be hand-picked by him and get every single shoe?! That was the illest thing ever, you know?
Langston Galloway, Detroit Pistons: I fell in love with sneakers when I was a kid. I was a big fan of guys like Allen Iverson and Michael Jordan and Penny Hardaway, so I would see their kicks and want them. I thought that I could play like them and be like those guys if I had their shoes. Growing up, I was only able to afford one pair of Jordans; my parents weren’t able to buy me any other kicks. But then once I got to high school, I always said, “If I’m able to afford shoes someday, I’m going to collect as many pairs as I can.” And that’s what I’ve done. I started my collection in college and I’ve been collecting ever since.
Kyle Wiltjer, Houston Rockets/Olympiacos: I’m from Portland, OR, so I literally grew up five minutes from Nike’s campus and I’ve always loved sneakers. My high school was funded by Nike too, so I’ve been into Nike pretty much my whole life. I’ve been rocking Js for a long time. Growing up in AAU, shoes were a big part of the culture. Everyone wanted to know what the other players were wearing and stuff. I actually met my girl on Nike’s campus. It’s funny, shoes sort of brought us together. She’s from Portland too. She actually worked at Jordan Brand for five years, until she recently moved to Greece with me. She rocks Js like me, and she actually has even more shoes than I do, which is saying something because I have a lot of shoes in my closet. As far as my collection, that started when I was in high school. I started by collecting Jordans, trying to keep them looking really nice so they’d hold their value over time. You obviously don’t have much money when you’re in high school, but I tried to save up for different pairs. Once I got out of college, that’s when my collection really picked up. I didn’t have to worry about the NCAA anymore, so I was trying to get as many shoes as I possibly could.
Pierre Jackson, Dallas Mavericks/Maccabi Tel Aviv: I’ve had a lot of shoes for as long as I could remember. In fourth or fifth grade, I got some all white Air Force 1 Mids and I ended up playing in them. From there, I can remember pretty much every shoe I ever got. I played with a team that was white and red, so I got every single white-and-red shoe I could find. I had Allen Iverson’s shoes – like the Answer Vs and the Answer VIs with the zipper on top – and then I got a lot of LeBron James’ shoes once he came into the league. I got his first signature shoe and then I kind of went crazy after that. That’s when I started collecting and taking really good care of every shoe I got.
Thaddeus Young shared these pictures of his closet with HoopsHype
HOW MANY SHOES DO YOU OWN?
Rudy Gay: I would say close to 1,000.
Thaddeus Young: If I had to estimate, I’d probably say it’s around 1,000. Maybe a little bit more.
Mike Bibby: I’d rather not say. It’s a secret! (laughs) I don’t share much about my collection. There aren’t any public pictures or videos of my shoes. Sometimes, I’ll let people come over and check out my closet, but I tell them, “No pictures or video.” That’s my rule.
The rapper Fat Joe once said that Bibby has an entire guest house full of shoes. Is that true?
Don’t believe everything you hear! I’ll just say I have a closet in my main room and I have a closet in my garage. I’ve been collecting for a long time and you get every shoe you want when you’re playing. And if you want more, you can order more. That’s what I did. I would get a certain number of free shoes every year and, of course, I took advantage of that and used up all of those each year. Then, sometimes, I’d even go past that number and pick up my credit card to get extra pairs.
Stanley Johnson: I have three different closets full of shoes right now. I’d say I have somewhere between 600 and 700. I’ve always had a lot of shoes, even since high school. Then, when I got to the league and signed with Nike, I obviously started getting a lot more. One of the perks of being with Nike is getting free shoes to wear as part of my endorsement deal, and they’re shoes that everyone wants like LeBrons, Kyries and PGs.
Quentin Richardson: I have no clue how many shoes I own now. I have stuff stored at my house in Orlando, at my best friend’s house in Orlando, at my dad’s house in Chicago, at my sister’s house in Chicago, at a storage unit in Chicago and at a storage unit in Orlando. People have asked me to do a shoe video sharing my collection or take a picture of all my shoes, but it would be too difficult because they’re too spread out. I have two sons and I hope they end up being size 15 because I’m saving my real heat for them, like my number PEs (Player Exclusives) and my Retros.
The reason I have so many shoes is because they would send me every single item that they made early on. Every month, they’d send basketball shoes, runners, casual shoes, shirts, shorts, backpacks, duffle bags, socks, headbands, sweatbands and tights. That’s when there were only eight or nine of us athletes on Jordan Brand. There was nowhere to put it all, so I was giving stuff away to friends, relatives, teammates, whoever. There was no way one person could keep all that stuff. I’m still with the brand today and it’s so different from how it was back then because we were literally getting everything. It would’ve been impossible for them to continue doing that, but it was unbelievable while it lasted. They still send stuff, and I’m so appreciative that they still take care of me and my family, but it’s obviously less than we used to get. And we’d get each pair about a month before it came out! D-Miles and I would go out to the mall just to post up in Foot Locker and let everyone see them! (laughs)
Langston Galloway: I’d probably say I own close to 1,000 pairs of shoes now. Being in the NBA, you can really become part of the sneaker world and create a lot of contacts. It’s been really cool to experience that. I’ve even been able to get my own shoe, which is a blessing and something you dream of growing up. I’m endorsed by Q4, which stands for Quarter 4, and it’s been great to be one of the headliner guys for this up-and-coming brand… Off the court, I’m allowed to wear whatever I want and on the court, I wear Q4.
De’Aaron Fox: Last year, when I left Kentucky, I gave a lot of my shoes away because I don’t want to hoard shoes. I think I have about 100 now. I don’t feel like I need more than that because I’ll never be able to wear them all. I don’t even wear all of mine right now and I only have 100. I know some guys have, like, 500 or more pairs, but then they can’t even name half the shoes in their closet!
Kyle Wiltjer: I’d say I own anywhere from 80 to 100 pairs.
Pierre Jackson: I had 350 when I arrived here in Israel, so I’d say I’m easily over 400 now. I need to count up all of the shoes I got this year. I kind of went crazy with it (laughs).
Part of Quentin Richardson’s collection (courtesy of Richardson)
WHAT’S THE MOST YOU’VE SPENT ON A PAIR OF SHOES?
Thaddeus Young: The most I’ve spent was about $4,000 on the Yeezy Red Octobers. But someone actually made me an offer on them, so I ended up selling them for $6,000. I was like, “Sure, why not!” Then, I ended up getting another pair of those for about $2,000. Those joints were so hard to come by, it was crazy. But it worked out! Another pair I spent a lot on were the “Legend of the Summer” Jordan 2s, which are also all red. Those were $4,000 too, but I’m keeping those! My “Eminem” Jordan 2s were just under $4,000 too. But yeah, $4,000 is the most I’ve spent.
Rudy Gay: I had a pair of the Yeezy Red Octobers. I liked them so much that I wanted to buy a second pair, but at some point it gets to be too much. But those the most expensive shoes I’ve bought.
Mike Bibby: I haven’t spent a lot of money on shoes. I’ve never felt like I needed a $16,000 pair of shoes to look nice. I stick with Jordan 1s. And I’ve gotten most of my shoes for free from Jordan Brand.
De’Aaron Fox: The most I’ve spent on a pair of shoes is about $300 – maybe a little over $300. I’m not one of those people who is out here spending a rack on a pair of shoes. Nah, never that. My mom would probably kill me! I get a lot of free shoes too.
Stanley Johnson: The most I’ve spent is $1,700.
Quentin Richardson: I don’t buy anything. I don’t even buy my kid new shoes. My 14-year-old will ask for Yeezys or something and I will never buy them. I won’t spend a dime on shoes. As long as I keep getting free shoes, why would I? My whole thing is, it’s not like I got an endorsement with some wack company. You’re getting the best of the best, kid! And that’s no disrespect to adidas or the Yeezys, but why would I pay money for shoes when we’re getting all these free shoes? Where I came from growing up, I’m not going to spend a ton of money on shoes. I take after my pops when it comes to that. I see what my kid does to his shoes! I’m not about to spend a bunch of money on new ones or jump through hoops to get rare ones when you’re just going to go trash them! Enjoy all of these top-of-the-line free shoes! It’s not like he’s going to school and being ridiculed. He’s wearing new Jordans and gets stuff before it even comes out! He’s cooler than I ever was, so I don’t want to hear it; he’s fine.
Langston Galloway: I got this one pair, the “Drake vs. Lil Wayne” Jordan 3s and I spent about $3,000 for those. [These shoes were later listed for $25,000].
Kyle Wiltjer: The most I’ve spent is only about $300. I don’t really spend a lot, to be honest. Someone will be like, “Oh my God, you have $12,000 shoes!” But I never spend $12,000 or anywhere close to that. I’ll just get them at their retail price, or I’ll have a connection who helps me get them. I signed with Nike when I was a rookie in the NBA. I’m still a Nike athlete, so I get to use their online ordering system and it’s clutch. Let’s say there’s a shoe that releases this Saturday, I can order it without having to be in line. That’s been awesome.
Pierre Jackson: I think it had to be the Just Dons when they first came out. I paid $1,100 for them. I had my daughter right after that, so I’ve stopped spending so much on sneakers since then!
Part of Pierre Jackson’s collection (courtesy of Nice Kicks’ “Sneak Peek”)
WHAT ARE THE RAREST SNEAKERS YOU OWN?
Rudy Gay: Let me check. I’m going into my closet. I have the first Yeezys, the Air Yeezys. I have the “Kanye West” Louis Vuitton Jaspers with the pink bottoms.
Thaddeus Young: I love different colorways, so I have a lot of PEs. I was able to get my hand on a lot of QRich’s PEs just through people I know. I was able to work out some deals – either making trades or buying them. Sometimes I’m able to get doubles of a certain shoe in my collection, so then I can trade them to pick up some shoes I don’t have. When I see Jordan 12s in a Miami colorway and an Orlando colorway, or Jordan 9s in a Clippers colorway, I’m like, “I gotta have it!” A lot of people didn’t know Shawn Marion had a PE of the Jordan 5s when he was in Phoenix, but I picked up a couple pairs of those. Then, of course, there’s the Ray Allen PEs when he was with the Sonics, Bucks, Celtics and Heat. I like Juwan Howard’s PEs too; his feet are a little bit bigger than mine, but I got a few pairs of his stuff. Now, they’re doing the Jordan 3s in all the different school colors and I have the Michigans, the UNCs, the Georgetowns. I have a lot of stuff that most people don’t have. George Kiel [from Coiski Media] has been trying to feature me in one of his videos, sharing my collection, but I don’t really like to show off my shoes too much. I don’t post many pictures or anything. I don’t do it for attention; I just love collecting shoes.
Mike Bibby: There are a lot, but I don’t even know the right names for them. I had a pair that were one-of-one, but Fat Joe took them from me. I don’t know if you heard the story, but he came to my house and there were three pairs of shoes he had in his hand and I was like, “Joe, you can’t take those! I only have one pair of each of those.” Then, I told him, “You can only pick one.” I let him take one because he’s a good friend of mine, he’s basically family. He’s done a lot of stuff for me, so I let him take a pair. But he took the one-of-one pair and he has them in his sneaker store. They were Retro 9s with my number on the back and they were patent-leather. They only sent me one pair and I’ve never seen anyone else have those, so I’m pretty sure they were one-of-one. When he took that one, I was like, “Damn!” (laughs) I gave some shoes to The Game too; I’m a big fan of his music, so I showed him my collection and gave him some.
Stanley Johnson: Hmm, let me think. I have the first Yeezys that were ever made. I have the first LeBrons and the postseason LeBrons. I have the “Year of the Snake” Jordan 1s.
De’Aaron Fox: I’d probably say my “Just Don” Jordan 2s; I haven’t really seen a lot of people who have them. I still have my “Aunt Pearl” KD IVs. I have a lot of shoes – that’s a fact – but I’m not one of those guys who knows the release dates and stuff like that. I have some fire, but I’m not on the same level as some of these guys like PJ Tucker, for example. My brother is a big sneakerhead, though.
Quentin Richardson: All of my PEs are the rarest ones I own. I’ve given some away too. Fat Joe has a sneaker boutique in New York – it’s called Up NYC – and he has a few of my PEs in there. We’ve had a cool relationship ever since I met him in New York. He got in touch with me and I think I sent him my Knicks 8s and my Miami Retro 12s. I gave Warren Sapp some of my Knicks and Suns PEs too. He always wanted orange and white shoes since he was Miami Hurricane, so I’d send him some whenever he asked. I know a lot of people like my PEs. The sneakerheads show me love and I appreciate it. I think a big reason why is because over the years, I played for a lot of teams that had very different colorways than MJ’s Bulls. Because of that, most of my PEs were some colorway that you never really saw before. That made a lot of my PEs pretty crazy, and they were making me heat for nearly 13 years! Now, they don’t do it the same way. You don’t see guys in Retros as often. Instead, you’ll usually see them in a colorway of whatever shoe is coming out this year. Maybe you’ll see Chris Paul, Jimmy Butler or Kawhi Leonard in the Retros once in a blue moon, but you don’t see it as often. Mike Bibby, Ray Allen, Rip [Hamilton], Derek Anderson and myself were wearing two or three pairs of Retros every season. Our PE game was crazy; we all had heat that was different.
Langston Galloway: I have “Drake vs. Lil Wayne” Jordan 3s. I also have the Kobe and Jordan pack with the 8s. Or it might be the Yeezy pack with Nike that had the Air Yeezy 2s; I have all three pairs: the Air Yeezy 2 NRGs, the Air Yeezy 2 Gamma Blues and the Air Yeezy 2 Red Octobers.
Kyle Wiltjer: I have the “Kaws” Jordan 4s in black, which were super hard to get. I have both pairs of “Kaws.” Another is the blacked out OVO Jordans. I also have the “Oregon” Jordan 5s. I’m from there, so I had to pick those up and rep Oregon!
Pierre Jackson: I think it’s one of the pairs that I recently copped, an all yellow jewel pair of Air Force 1s with the little yellow Nike check on it. They’re brand new, but they came out in 1995. I can’t think of anything off the top of my head, but those are probably one of the rarest.
Part of Langston Galloway’s collection (courtesy of WearTesters)
ARE YOU JEALOUS OF ANYONE ELSE’S COLLECTION?
Rudy Gay: PJ Tucker has a lot and I’d say I’m jealous of his collection, but I mean, I could pay $5,000 for a pair of shoes too (laughs). That’s not being a sneakerhead! I think sneakerheads are those guys who find a way to get a pair of shoes when they come out without spending a ton of money. You know, the kids who track down the shoes they want and make a trade for them, they’re sneakerheads. PJ is cheating! (laughs) Nah, I’m just playing. I am jealous of PJ’s collection. He has a lot of heat and he even plays in some them. I know he donates some and gives some away too, so it’s all good.
Thaddeus Young: I wouldn’t say I’m jealous, but PJ Tucker has some stuff that I don’t have. We text and try to help each other find shoes sometimes. He tried to help me find a pair of Jordan 3s in the Georgetown colorway, but I ended up buying a different pair right before he found them. He’s hit me up about buying some of my shoes, but I decided to keep them. Wilson Chandler has a lot. He has a crazy collection, for sure. The only guys who I’m actually “jealous” of are the Jordan Brand guys. They get everything and it’s not fair (laughs). I’ve played with some Jordan Brand guys like Monta [Ellis], Vic [Oladipo]and Joe Johnson, and they can get their hands on just about any pair of Jordans. Joe’s collection is insane. I’m definitely jealous of his collection. He probably has the biggest collection I’ve ever seen.
Mike Bibby: I don’t think anybody rivals me. Right now, I think I might be at the top, to tell you the truth. I still have all my game shoes. I have a lot of shoes that I’ve kept for a long time that are rare; I know a lot of people are looking for them online and stuff like that. I take pride in my keeping all my game shoes, and I still pull them out sometimes when I go to the gym to work out.
Stanley Johnson: Mike Bibby’s collection is crazy. I haven’t seen Mike’s shoe closet personally, but I’ve heard about it. I know Miles Simon (Bibby’s former teammate at Arizona), and I’d say I’m jealous of Miles’ collection too. I don’t know exactly what’s in Bibby’s closet, but I know Miles Simon’s closet. When I was in high school, I’d see Miles and all the shoes he’d wear were crazy. He has Jordans that will never be released. Mike had a Jordan deal, so I’m sure he has a bunch of Jordans that are nuts too. I’ll say I’m jealous of Miles’ collection because I know what he has, but Mike probably has the best closet.
Quentin Richardson: I feel like the only person who has some shoes that I wish I could have is Ray Allen because he won two championships and when you go deeper into the playoffs, you get more custom stuff. And he was in two situations where they knew he was going the distance – Boston and Miami – so they were able to prepare for that and give him crazy heat for the playoffs and then for ring night the following year. I never got those. Ray is the only one who has stuff that I might want just because of his championships. Otherwise, I’m perfectly content with my collection. I’m so grateful that Jordan Brand has sent me so much stuff over the years. They’re so loyal too. Some 18 years later, even when I’m no longer playing, they continue to take care of me and my family. They didn’t have to do that. They still send us new shoes and I really appreciate that. I try to do whatever I can to show how grateful I am, whether it’s going to different events or doing what I can to promote the brand, but I’ll never be able to repay them for the loyalty they’ve shown me.
Langston Galloway: There are probably like three or four people where I’m jealous of their collection. My boy Thad Young has a ton of exclusives and heat that you won’t ever see on the street. I would say Thad, for sure. I’ve seen people interview Wilson Chandler and look through his closet, and his collection is crazy. I checked out DJ Skee’s collection and he has a ton of heat. And DeMar DeRozan is in the upper echelon of shoe collections. He gets any shoe he wants from the Nike collection, so he has so much stuff.
Kyle Wiltjer: I played with the Houston Rockets last year so I still have some friends on the team and they’re always snapping pictures of PJ Tucker’s locker. His collection is pretty out there, and he tries the hardest out of anyone. He brings a crazy pair to every game. He’s definitely the sneaker champ. I don’t know who can compete with him. I have to give love to Montrezl Harrell too. He was with me during my rookie year and he has a nice collection too.
Pierre Jackson: I would say there are three people. Wilson Chandler is first. His collection is crazy. PJ Tucker is the king of shoes right now, but Wilson is slept on. I don’t know if everybody has seen his sneaker video, but OH MY GOSH. He was pulling brand new stuff out of the box that you can’t find anywhere and don’t see that often. Then, there’s The Perfect Pair. Have you seen his shoe collection? It may, literally, be second-to-none. MAYOR’s collection is crazy too. He said that he has over 3,000 pairs of shoes. We wear the same size too, so when I see his all of his stuff I definitely get jealous.
More of Thaddeus Young’s collection (courtesy of Young)
DO YOU OWN MORE ON-COURT SHOES OR OFF-COURT SHOES?
Rudy Gay: I’d say I own more off-court shoes. I donate a lot of my on-court shoes or I give them away to fans. I lose a lot of them too; you could come across a pair of my shoes anywhere because I’ve lost so many pairs (laughs).
Thaddeus Young: I own more on-court shoes – different kinds of Jordans, a lot of the PG shoes, the Kyries, Kobes and stuff like that. I have a lot of shoes that I can play in. I have some off-court stuff from Stefan Janoski and Paul Rodriguez, but I’m more into on-court shoes and all of the different colorways. I love my PEs – from Ray Allen’s to QRich’s to Carmelo Anthony’s to Gerald Wallace’s.
Mike Bibby: I’m really a tennis shoe kind of guy. Even if I go out somewhere, I’m wearing jeans, a collared shirt and some Jordan 1s. I mainly stick to tennis shoes.
De’Aaron Fox: I have way more off-court shoes. For me, I’m really into runners. I’m more into runners than, like, Js and stuff like that. I have a lot of Nike Air Maxes.
Stanley Johnson: I have a lot of off-court shoes. And there are some that could be worn on the court, but I don’t play in them. Like, for example, I have a lot of Jordans that could be worn on the court, but they’re more off-court shoes for me. So I’m not sure how to classify those. Sometimes, my shoes will just be for my collection. I’m really into collecting shoes now, so sometimes I don’t wear them at all.
Quentin Richardson: I probably have more on-court shoes just because I kept so many of my PEs over the years and they sent those for us to play in. I played in a lot of them, so I’d say I have more on-court shoes. But they sent so much stuff, including shoes to just kick it in, so I have a lot of both.
Langston Galloway: I’d say I have a good mix of both. I may have slightly more on-court shoes that I can hoop in. I wear every single pair of shoes that I buy, though; I don’t ever buy shoes to not wear them. If I buy them, I’m definitely going to walk around in them or hoop in them at some point.
Kyle Wiltjer: I definitely have more off-court shoes. A lot of my Jordans are bulky and big, so I don’t hoop in most of them. I like playing in the 10s and 11s, but other than that, a lot of mine are off-court shoes.
Pierre Jackson: I would say it’s like 60 percent off-court, 40 percent on-court. I give a lot of my game shoes away. This season, I think I gave away 25 pairs of my on-court shoes. I’m going to do something really fun during the last week of [Maccabi Tel Aviv’s] season too. I’m doing a scavenger hunt, like Ray Allen did a few years back, where I drop a bunch of pairs of shoes and then put the location on my Instagram so fans can go get them. I love giving away shoes.
WHICH SHOES ARE MISSING FROM YOUR COLLECTION THAT YOU WANT TO COP?
Thaddeus Young: There are a few. I’m trying to get my hands on the Jordan 3s that are in Marquette colors. I have the Marquette colorways of the Jordan 13s and Jordan 2s, but I want to get the Jordan 3s. I want the Jordan 4s in the Georgetown colorway too; I really like the Hoya 4s. I want the Fab Five Jordan 5s too. Those things are crazy. A lot of the shoes I want are really limited, so it’s really tough to get your hands on them. I want the “Back to the Future” Nike Air MAGs, but they’re way overpriced. Some guy came to me with them, but I wasn’t going to spend that much on those. Oh, I really want the rare Kobe IVs, but they’re like $20,000 through Flight Club (laughs). I’m not jumping on those until they go way down.
Rudy Gay: There isn’t one specific shoe. I think I’ve already picked up the shoes that I always really wanted. I just signed a shoe deal with Zappos, though, so you may see me mix things up soon. My deal with them is very unique. When I was approached about the opportunity, I had never heard of anything like it. It was perfect because I am a sneakerhead who loves shoes, and there are a lot of opportunities within Zappos and the different companies they work with. It just seemed like a good idea. It gives me a chance to be creative and work with a lot of creative people at Zappos. It’ll be fun.
De’Aaron Fox: I still want the Off-White Prestos. The main reason I don’t have them is because I haven’t asked for them yet, but that’s a shoe that I do want. I own a bunch of Prestos; those shoes are so comfortable. I definitely need the Off-Whites.
Stanley Johnson: I don’t think there is one. I have all of the shoes I want right now.
Langston Galloway: The one shoe I’ve been dying to get – but I can’t afford them and they’re just too hard to find – is the self-lacing “Back to the Future” Nike Air MAGs. I want those really bad. I know a few people who have them, but it’s too much. Way too much.
Kyle Wiltjer: Actually there’s one pair that I’m trying to find: the OVO Jordan 10s that are all white. I had them before, but I hooped in them and destroyed them. They’re my favorite shoe to play basketball in, but online they’re between $900 and $1,000. I’m not going to spend that much. I definitely want those, but they’re too expensive.
Pierre Jackson: The Jordan 4s in the “Lightning” colorway are the main ones I’m missing. I love them, but I still can’t get past the price. They’re going for about $1,400 right now, and I can’t muster up the courage to spend that much I have two kids, so I can’t be out here buying anything I want! Oh, one other pair would be the “Halloween” Air Force 1s that are black and orange patent leather down the middle. That’s one pair that I couldn’t get when I was younger, but I can’t find them in my size. I really want those, but I can’t find them. If anyone could hook me up, that would be great!
WHAT’S YOUR ALL-TIME FAVORITE SHOE?
Rudy Gay: My favorite pair shoes? Wow. Hmm. I’d probably go with the Nike Air Max 95.
Thaddeus Young: I’d say my all-time favorite is the first pair of Jordans that I bought when I first got into the NBA and made some money: the Cool Grey Jordan 11s with the gum bottom.
Mike Bibby: My favorite I wore? Hmm. I like my Jordan 16s from when I was in Vancouver and I like my Retro 5 Lows from when I was in Sacramento.
De’Aaron Fox: My all-time favorites to wear, in general, are Jordan 11s. But I’m a big fan of Kobe IVs and Kobe Vs too.
Stanley Johnson: Off the court, I’d probably say classic Sk8 Low Vans. You know, just regular, classic Vans in black and white. Then, on the court, the Kobe Vs.
Quentin Richardson: I would have to go with Jordan 13s or Jordan 2s.
Langston Galloway: My go-to is the “He Got Game” Jordan 13s. I tell that to everybody and I’m sticking with it. Those are my favorite of all-time.
Pierre Jackson: My all-time favorite has to be the Jordan 4s in the “Lightning” colorway. But, like I said, that’s actually one of the shoes that I don’t have yet.
Kyle Wiltjer: For off the court, I have to say the Jordan 1s. I just love the way it looks; you can throw it on with jeans as well as shorts. I definitely wear my Jordan 1s the most and I have all sorts of different colorways. Jordan 1s are definitely my favorite.