Tonight, Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins will formally begin their professional careers as they walk across the stage in the 2014 NBA Draft. While the two freshmen sensations lead off what’s considered a draft class deep in talent, only time will tell how this pool of players will perform on the court. As NBA execs and loyal fans hope their team’s picks produce winning records and championship rings, fans of footwear and sneaker brands are hoping this draft will produce the next wave of signature stars.
As history shows, the draft classes that run the deepest in talent usually produce the best sneaker heat. From signature shoes to player exclusives, some rookie rosters just rocked more heat over the course of their careers than others. We took the time to rank the twelve best NBA draft classes from a sneaker standpoint. Read our picks and give us you own in the comment section.
Key Players: Larry Johnson and Dikembe Mutombo
Grandmama and the finger waving shot swatter may not have the deepest sneaker catalogs in history, but their impact on basketball footwear is for real. Both Johnson and Mutombo helped modernize the hardwood direction of their respective sponsors. LJ ushered in the era of REACT Juice for Converse, dressing up in drag in commercials and dunking on opponents in games (a little different than Magic and Bird’s Weapon ads or highlight reels.) Mutombo became an international endorser for adidas, bringing Congo colorways and high-top hype to the Three Stripes’ otherwise clean and classic history of hoops.