From beginning to end, the 2013-2014 NBA season was indeed momentous for San Antonio Spurs forward Matt Bonner. He began the season with a plea for a new shoe deal, hopped on social media for the first time, landed a shoe deal through Twitter with adidas and eventually won his second NBA Championship. What a year.
Fast forward to a year and two days after his plea, the “Red Rocket” is in position to garner attention through sneakers yet again without even trying, or caring for that matter. See, Bonner does not aim to rack up style points or focus on the latest trends in footwear, but when approached about the idea of being gifted a custom shoe to wear on Christmas Day, the New Hampshire native was curiously receptive.
As he smirked Bonner asked, “A custom shoe for me? I’m open to it for sure, but I just can’t handle anything too crazy.”
The question was directed to Jake Danklefs, a San Antonio native and full-time shoe customizer, who met Bonner – his favorite player in the NBA – for the first time during the Spurs Media Day session in late September. The idea, which at the time was somewhere in between seriousness and a joke, has shifted all the way to the former, and a tad bit of behind-the-scenes legwork has been done by a few persons, namely Matt’s younger brother Luke Bonner, in attempt to see this project through.
“My sister actually works for the NBA league office, so I checked in with her to make sure everything that we wanted to do was in line with the dress code rules and what you can and can’t do with sneakers on the holidays,” said Luke Bonner. “Obviously on Christmas Day, you’re allowed to wear the holiday colors.”
Luke also spent time chatting with adidas about the upcoming project.
“When adidas signed him, they didn’t expect him to get a custom shoe and interest from Jake Danklefs, or anyone well-known in that customization space, so they were shocked,” said Luke Bonner. “It’s kind of funny, to be honest. I was just thinking about his beat-up shoes over the years and last year’s custom – you know, the one with the tape and snowman drawing on Christmas Day – so this will be pretty exciting.”Matt Bonner’s Christmas Day shoe for 2013 featured a snowman drawing on a piece of tape