Photo via @W_Maxey

Look familiar? Here’s a Nike ad featuring Jonas Valanciunas that is pretty much identical to the KICKS cover of Rajon Rondo that dropped last month. You all know how much I love Rondo (and pretty much every other point guard), but I’ve got to go with this billboard of Jonas. How baller is this? Who needs the NBA to be on a billboard? Not Mr. Valanciunas.

Many thanks to Wendell Maxey who has been covering all things Valanciunas for the past few weeks in Lithuania. If you are not already following him on Twitter, check him at @w_maxey and do that now. It’s nice to see someone who isn’t a Raptors writer or a Lithuanian be so excited for Raptors fans to get Valanciunas. In addition to Maxey’s excitement, Fran Fraschilla has also been very pro-Jonas via his Twitter account.

All of this makes me pretty pumped, too. Go ahead, get excited.*

*Just remember that he is very young and will need time to develop and adjust to the NBA game. As long as you’ve got that, go crazy!

Comments (15)

  1. Yes – I’m excited!

  2. How ironic. Promoting a shoe in Lithuainia that most Lithuanians cannot even afford.

    • Lithuania has its own problems. But You can’t say that our nation cannot afford Nike! :) according to the European prices, Lithuania has same shoes as Germany (For example), just in Lithuania same shoes will cost at least 30-50euros (around 70 Dollars) more. So don’t be surprised if we choose to buy over internet not in the inside country shop. But we can afford it.

  3. JT – Fair enough, but how many Kobe fans can afford Hyperdunks? This is hardly unique to Lithuania.

  4. Every time Jonas dunks on a guy with the Raptors, I want Matt Devlin to scream ‘KILK ARBA TRAUKIS!’

  5. JT> tell me something more about LT.. your knowledge seems very reliable!

    • For one thing I know that there is a HUGE gap between rich and poor. There are these mulitbillionaires on one side. And on the other they are folks, the vast majority, that make less that 10,000$/year . One pair of shoes could probably run the average Lithuanian family a month’s salary or even more. For more info, look at wikipedia or the CIA reference on all nations.

      • how come you trust information over the internet. Dont be blind man. You have to be aware that lithuanians officialy get very low salary’s, other half of the salary is stated as bonuses (illigaly paid by the third country). Our nation isn’t that poor. Don’t besurprised if you will come and wont find empty table in the most expensive restaurant..

  6. Ironic? Kind of, but not really. Luxury products are available in this country that are further out of my reach than those shoes are for the average Lithuanian income. It’s a free market and, within reason, it’s the best economic model we’ve got. Striving to attain next-level goods pushes everything in a consumer market. Arguably, expensive basketball shoes are the best thing that could happen to an up-and-coming economy.

  7. The rich-poor gap involves different issues than product pricing….

  8. Thank you for the input SC. I apologize if I offended you, but I just know from what I read about. I know that Lithuania is an up and coming economy and a new independent democracy, but other than the economic data that is given, I know little or nothing else about that country.

    My sister went there for a wedding and her friend was marrying into an EXTREMELY WEALTHY FAMILY. She got to see the huge disparity first hand when her friend would ask her “Is 10,000$ too much to buy a handbag for?” On the other end of the spectrum, she saw people barely able to make end’s meet. It was a very sobering experience for her.

    • there’s no bags for that amount in the shops in Lithuania. To try to make a joke here about 25 000 LT (our currency) ask yourself would you buy for your wife handbag for 25 000 dollars? That funny and sad at the same time. Even the rich people has heads here and knows smart shopping. So paying 25 000 for a hand bag would be really stupid move. If the person doesnt earn at least 1 million dollars a year.

  9. really bored with all basketball news right about now.

  10. JT, it’s not that I feel offended or that you are completely wrong (about the rich – poor gap). But somehow as a majority we have no problem buying shoes or other functional mid-price-level products. Hmm.. I’m thinking how to say this without appearing that I’m trying to preach. What I mean is, that I don’t share your irony. I understand where it’s coming from, but it would not have thought of it as ironic if you didn’t point it out.
    Because NIKE representatives in Lithuania are not stupid, they wouldn’t invest marketing money on advertising if there wouldn’t be enough people to buy their shoes – if it’s necessarily these – I don’t know. So SR is right – we have market economy and it balances itself out. But the middle class is there, it’s quite big and getting bigger every year.

    It’s more than 20 years of independence for us. And we’re doing quite fine.:)

  11. I don’t get the first paragraph- so do you like that Valanciunas is on the billboard or not?

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