Nike LeBron III // Throwback Thursday

Long live the king.

In light of the recent news regarding the retro release of the Nike Air Zoom LeBron III, today’s Throwback Thursday discusses, reminisces, and appreciates the beauty and significance of this classic silhouette, one of the most important sneakers in the storied and iconic LeBron James signature line.

The 2005-2006 season was a significant year for James, culminating in his much-anticipated playoff debut against the Washington Wizards, the Cavs’ first playoff appearance in nearly a decade, a game LeBron played in his pair of Zoom LeBron IIIs. James was masterful throughout the first-round series, leading the Cavs to two one-point overtime victories over the Wizards including a triple-double of 32 points/11 rebounds/11 assists in Game 1 and a series-high 45 points in Game 5. LeBron fans were treated not only to a spectacular performance by LeBron, but also his signature kicks as well.

Debuting on November 12th, 2005 at an original retail price of $125, the Zoom LeBron III came fully loaded with cutting-edge mid-2000s basketball technology including a large-volume full-length Zoom-Air unit, exterior straps along the upper for increased movability, a carbon-fiber shank plate, Pebax “foot-bucket” support shell for maximum stability, and a rubber outsole featuring deep, longitudinal grooves for improved traction. From an aesthetic perspective, the sneaker resembled that of a high-tech army boot made of superior materials and design cues, the perfect combination, intersection, and balance between sport luxury, durability, and performance.

More colorways of the Zoom LeBron III were released which exceeded that of the previous two models combined in order to cater to a large consumer base, allowing for increased versatility and both on and off the court. Limited-edition, friends and family versions such as the 2006 All-Star Game in Houston, Dunkman, Area Code (with LeBron’s area code 330), Four Horsemen, Remix, Birthday, 2006 Olympics, and others were produced which command a premium today.

After a 12-year hiatus, the Zoom LeBron III will soon make its return in retro form. A black/gold colorway in addition to a Christ The King (CTK) version – an original 2006 friends and family limited release colorway – are set to receive the retro treatment sometime this year much to the delight of hardcore LeBron fans worldwide.

James and his sneakers have truly transcended the game of basketball by virtue of his larger-than-life personality and, most recently, his humanitarian efforts at creating the I Promise School. After much anticipation, Nike’s Zoom LeBron sneaker vault has finally opened once again for this iconic and highly-anticipated silhouette that surely will not disappoint.

The Nike Air Zoom LeBron III: The Chosen One’s sneaker of choice.

select photos via Flight Club