The champ is here.
Before last season began, we predicted that Nick Young, Nate Robinson and JR Smith would contend for the Kicks On Court crown, as they do each and every year. But a former Arizona Wildcat – Derrick Williams – quickly emerged as a wild card in the race, seemingly out of nowhere. Williams went from the surprise of last season’s first month to winning the Kicks On Court Champion award, and he garnered everyone’s interest along the way.
We caught up with the reigning Kicks On Court Champion to discuss his new shoe deal, his stiffest competition for this upcoming season and what we can expect from him on court in the coming months. Let’s catch up with the champ.
Nice Kicks: So, what has the reigning Kicks On Court Champion been up to this summer?
Derrick Williams: [Laughs] Nothing much, man. I took a break from basketball right at the beginning of the summer, and then I got back to my workouts. That’s pretty much all I’ve been doing. Also, every summer since I’ve been in the NBA, I do a sneaker giveaway around LA. I usually go out and buy a number of shoes that I know kids will wear, and I give away some from my personal collection. I try to get 3-4 pairs of size 8 all the way up to size 13 to make it fun for everybody. I stay close to Santa Monica, so I hid some shoes at the Santa Monica pier, my high school, my former teammate Solomon Hill’s high school and other places like that to make it more fun.
Nice Kicks: Now, there’s something you tweeted following your win of the Champion award that sticks out to me and probably everyone else that follows the Kicks On Court race. You said, “Watch what I got in store for next year. #noretros.” Are you going to be able to pull that off?
Derrick Williams: [Laughs] Well, I signed with Nike this past offseason, but they know I’m a big Kicks On Court guy. With the way my contract works, I’ll still be able to bring out a lot of my rare, old stuff, so it will be cool. You know, I try not to wear the most recent releases, as you saw last year, with me wearing shoes from 2003, 2005 and 1998, so expect some of the same this season.
Nice Kicks: As a young kid and fan of the NBA, who inspired you from a Kicks On Court standpoint?
Derrick Williams: Man, it was a few guys. I’d have to say Penny Hardaway because he started it with the Foamposite mania thing on NBA courts in my opinion. It was kind of crazy, because no one knew what the Foamposite was or how they performed when he was in Orlando. I think everyone was a little skeptical at first. With me being a University of Arizona guy, it really sparked my interest to see Mike Bibby on the court with those first during that championship run, so Bibby is definitely another person that inspired my on-court kick selections.
Nice Kicks: Without giving everything away, what can we expect from you this season?
Derrick Williams: Well, I’m going to wear more Nikes than Jordans this season, but you can expect to see me in some vintage stuff. I’ve really been on my old-school Kobes lately, and I’ll wear a lot of those this season. I pretty much love Kobe 1s all the way up to Kobe VIs. I’m also a really big Nike LeBron fan, and I love Carmelo’s earlier shoes, so I’ll bring some of those out as well. Oh, and I’ll throw in some old-school KDs too.
With this being the 10-year anniversary of LeBron’s first shoe, you will see the “Wheat” Zoom Generation on my feet at least once for sure. Nick Young beat me to the GPs last season, but I have a special pair that I want to bring out in one of the first games, so look out for that. I’ll also bring some customs out as well.