3. Which shoe will be the surprise on-court wear of the year (think Nate Robinson wearing the Nike Air Yeezy 2 on court this past season)?
Sweeney: Man, I seriously have no idea. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Derrick Williams is the one doing it. I remember when he broke out a few old school LeBrons last year. I know he’s a fanatic about wearing iconic shoes of the past. I’d be all for seeing some older LeBrons that got left in the dust.
McMenamin: The odds of this happening aren’t too high because Derek Fisher is an adidas guy now, but wouldn’t it be a fun surprise if at some point in his 18th and self-declared final NBA season that Fish broke out the Nike Air Max Uptempo 95s again? Fisher wore fresh pairs of those things – which are a top 10 basketball shoe of all time in my opinion – from his early days in the league well into the 2000s in special Laker colorways. I’d like to see him break them out some time next season to bookend his kicks career.
MacKenzie: I’ve been obsessed with the Jordan IV “Doernbecher” lately. Maybe Nate Rob or Nick Young will breathe new life into them on court this season.
Twersky: On a mainstream throwback note, this year marks the 10th anniversary of the AJ XIX. It’d be fun to see someone whip that out in recognition of that milestone. Same goes for the XIV, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary. Along the same lines, this year celebrates Carmelo Anthony’s 10th with the JB; outside of MJ, no NBA player has as many signature Jordans as Melo. Look for him/JB to dig deep in the vault for some old, old Melos to surface—on his feet if no one else’s. Additionally, Reebok has some back-of-the-closet throwbacks planned for Noel’s return. I mean, with him playing in Philly, and with the Allen Iverson/Reebok heritage there, look out for that potential. In terms of off-the-wall stuff, though, you know Iman Shumpert is probably going to whip out a pair of Jeremy Scott adidas’ at some point. Lastly, it won’t happen—though players, think Gilbert Arenas, have worn non-basketball footwear before—but I’d love to see someone rock the Nike Free HyperFeels. Just think about it.
Kerby: Someone is going to wear a pair of those custom Jordans you see on Instagram, the ones with the exotic leathers that come from a 2 Chainz song. I hope it’s someone hilarious, like Boris Diaw.
Kiel: There’s a player out there that’s wild enough to wear the Nike MAG for at least one quarter. I don’t know if that’s possible – whoever does it will definitely have the lockdown factor because of the fastening system – but I can see someone like Derrick Williams or Nick Young going back to the future for at least one quarter.
Wong: It won’t happen, but it’ll be crazy if a player takes it all the way back and straps on the original retro—a pair of Chucks—during a game. It’ll take it all the way back: the original performance/everything shoe. But with everything at stake now, I doubt any team’s equipment manager and coaching staff would allow a player to play an NBA game with Chucks. And they’d be right; Chucks are basically a pair of socks with a thin rubber bottom and shoelaces. But if that were to happen—bonus points if he was on one of the original NBA teams, the Knicks or Celtics—you should just give him the crown right there.
Whitaker: Somebody will play a game barefoot. Maybe Chris Kaman.
Ungvari: I’d love to see someone wearing the Air Jordan 5 “Doernbecher.” Not only because I love the design, but because I think it would be great for Isaac Arzate’s family to see his legacy live on by more people learning about his story and raising awareness for other kids who might have similar heart conditions and not know it.
Cason: I’m going to go Back to the Future and say someone tries to rocks the Nike Mag. Eventually, someone is going to bring it out, even if it’s only for a period of play. Imagine that shoe glowing during the starting introductions when all the stadium lights are low.