NBA players are very particular about their shoes. Stories abound of Kobe Bryant spending days with Nike designers, trying to shave half-ounces off the weight of his kicks or of Marcin Gortat getting in a fight with Reebok because he has a Jordan symbol tattooed on his leg. These sort of things happen, and it’s all because athletes are particular about their feet. As an admitted sneakerholic, I can’t blame them.
That’s why you really have to feel for Leandro Barbosa and Sonny Weems of the Toronto Raptors. Their feet are all messed up. Here’s Dave Feschuk of The Star:
Barbosa and Weems, both of whom are paid to wear [adidas], said they’re not sure when to expect the new shipment of shoes in Raptors red, black and white. The company sent both players a box of shoes before training camp began late last month; DiPietro said he started inquiring about getting Barbosa’s favoured model on the day the Raptors dealt for him in July.
But neither Barbosa nor Weems felt comfortable in any of the models they were initially sent. Weems, who wears a size 15 and spent last season wearing the Peak brand, said he wants to play this season in the adidas currently worn by Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose. One Raptor speculated that while Weems, a rank-and-file NBAer, waits impatiently, Rose, an ascendant superstar, isn’t having any problems scaring up footwear.
Oh, nice Sonny Weems zing, anonymous Raptor. Well played, my friend.
Joking aside, I’d imagine this whole thing gets cleared up mighty quickly. The season starts soon — two weeks! — and a major shoe retailer isn’t going to want one of their players to be wearing a rival brand while another one has horribly mismatched colors on his feet. There’s no doubt in my mind that adidas will have these two dudes properly suited and booted when the Raptors start their season Oct. 27 against the Knicks. Considering that Barbosa already showed up to Media Day in Kobe Bryant’s signature Nikes, adidas won’t let any more of these big-time marketing opportunities slip through their toes.
So for now, let’s just enjoy the silliness that’s going on with these guys.
I mean, blue and yellow shoes with a red and black jersey is just crazy talk.