Playing in the Past: When NBA Players Lace Up Models of Yesteryear

Every year, the best brands in basketball put their best foot forward by lacing the game’s elite in the latest releases backed by the newest technology. While most players jump at the dollars and possible competitive edge that such shoes provide, others elect old favorites or tried and true models.

While playing in retros is more regular than rare these days, over the years a handful of hoopers have dug into their personal stash or called their sponsor for fresh pairs of their favorites. As LeBron James continues to lace up the Nike LeBron X on court, we take a look back at other NBA ballers that rocked off the market models or rarely worn retros on the regular.

Gary Payton – Nike Air Zoom Flight ’98 “The Glove”

First Released: 1998
Last Worn: 2007

Gary Payton switched the style up back in 1998 when he received his first signature sneaker from Nike in zip up fashion. Despite strong signatures afterwards and even some choice retro Jordan PEs, it was “The Glove” that GP returned to when winning his first NBA title during his later days with the Heat. To make matters even more awesome, Nike outfitted him in unreleased player exclusives that coincided with his new team colors.

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