After the release of the Nike Greek Freak 1s for MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, there are 18 players in the NBA with a signature shoe deal. Cutting out players with Chinese shoe brand signature deals, or self-produced signature shoes, that number dwindles to 13. A signature shoe requires some level of cachet. Of the 13 players, ten of them were All-Stars this past season and 12 of them have made at least one All-Star team. The past ten seasons, the MVP has had a signature shoe out or in the pipeline.
Still, there is a waiting period before a shoe is debuted. LeBron James debuted with the Nike Zoom Generation as his launch shoe in 2003, and 2019 number one overall pick Zion Williamson will eventually secure a signature shoe with the Jordan Brand sometime in 2020. Shoe brands usually take a wait-and-see approach with players.
What players do on the court is important, but what they do off the court is just as significant. Commercials, social media and style are just a few of the many factors that allow players to showcase their personality and connect with fans. Being relatable, likable and real are important qualities that help a player connect with the public and sell shoes. With that in mind, here are the five players who should be next up for that signature shoe.