Around this time last month, we crowned Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker the 2015 Kicks On Court Champion. The former UT Longhorn dominated our Kicks On Court coverage this past season by wearing sneakers such as an Air Jordan 8 “Terror Squad” PE, two Air Jordan XIV Michael Finley PEs and a slew of other rare gems. You might be like us in wondering where he found half of these sneakers that he wore last season; shoes we normally don’t see on court, let alone anywhere.
Enter in P4P Shoes, P.J. Tucker’s hotspot for exclusive sneakers in Phoenix, Arizona. We recently tracked down Brendan Naper, co-owner of P4P Shoes, to discuss Tucker’s frequency in visiting the store, his most recent pickups and what we can expect to see on his feet next season.
George Kiel: So how did the connection spark between P.J. Tucker and P4P Shoes?
Brendan Naper: I just randomly reached out to him because I knew that he was big into sneakers. I could tell from what he wore on the court over the past couple of years that he really enjoys sneakers and has always been a big fan of them. Over the past couple of seasons, we’ve been able to get him some different things that not everyone is wearing on court, obviously.
Kiel: How often does P.J. shop with you guys?
Naper: He stops by a couple of times a month, faithfully. I’m actually trying to grab some more PEs for him now. Sometimes, we’ll grab some new releases for him, but for the most part we try to find him some of the older stuff that isn’t easy to find. We’re always looking to find stuff for him and obviously it isn’t easy because of his size. Sometimes, we’ll hold stuff for him on the site and other times we’ll bring a few things to the arena for him before the game. We found a Gerald Wallace PE for him when he was with the Bobcats a couple of years ago. He really liked that one because it matched the Suns uniforms. We’ve gotten him some Michael Finley PEs as well, and he actually knows Fred Jones personally so he’s gotten some Knicks pairs from him too.
Kiel: What has been the rarest find you guys have come across for P.J. Tucker?
Naper: I’d say it was the size 15 Bin 9 that we got for him recently. Jordan Brand didn’t make anything bigger than a 14 for retail in that shoe, so it was a promo pair that they only made for athletes. He has been looking for Bin 9s for a minute now, and we finally tracked one down for him. There’s been a few PEs too. We found a Shawn Marion Air Jordan 5 PE that he’s going to rock next year; it was actually made for Shawn during his time in Phoenix. Finding older stuff like that is always harder at this point, but he really enjoys it.
Kiel: How are you guys able to find some of these exclusives? I’ve seen some on Tucker’s feet that I never knew existed.
Naper: Since before we opened, I’ve just kinda connected with so many people over the years. It kinda started with LeBron samples, but that market has shifted now because there’s not much available in that space now. People are now trying to find Jordan samples, and I’ve connected with a lot of people through that. Finding buyers and sellers – seeing that we’re a consignment shop – for all of this stuff has created even more connections.
Kiel: Give us a preview of what we can expect to see the reigning Kicks On Court Champion in next season.
Naper: Off the top of my head, you’ll see some Derek Anderson stuff. P.J.’s a big fan of Anderson’s PEs, and I’ve been trying to track down some low-top 5s for him. You might see some Quentin Richardson 14s as well. He has some Kobe X PEs from his Nike rep that he’ll bust out too; they’re pretty crazy. He and Kobe are the same size, so it’s easy for him to get some of those Kobe exclusives.