The Tatum 1s may still be over a year away, but the Celtics star says that they’re coming.
When he first signed on with Jordan Brand in Summer 2019, his own signature shoe was the furthest thing from Jayson Tatum’s mind.
“I was with Nike for a year and a half,” he said at the time. “Then, halfway through [the 2018-19] season, my agent was saying that Jordan Brand was thinking about me coming over. I was like, ‘Jordan knows who I am?‘”
Fast forwarding two years, Tatum has been named an All-Star in each season since switching over to the Jumpman, all while headlining the newest Air Jordan 34, 35, and 36 silhouettes in Boston.
He’s since traveled to Monaco with MJ for the brand’s annual “family trip” for endorsers and ambassadors. He’s emerged as one of the fresh faces of featured athletes as Jordan Brand continues to evolve some 23 years after launching.
As he revealed in a recent guest appearance on the Knuckleheads Podcast with fellow Jordan Brand early ambassadors Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles, Tatum will soon receive the rare distinction of launching his own Jordan signature shoe.
“I can’t tell y’all exactly when, but it’s on the way,” he confirmed.
The Tatum 1 sigs may still be at least a year away, as the signature shoe process can typically take anywhere from 14-18 months. Nevertheless, Tatum has already been one of the brand’s best storytellers, working in tandem with Jordan’s color design team to create a series of detailed and themed sneakers in recent seasons.
“Anything that is involving my brand or something that I want to endorse or put, I want to put my all into it,” he added on the Knuckleheads Pod. “I love storytelling and having ideas and seeing it come to life.”
From player exclusive editions touching on his St. Louis upbringing to the brotherhood of Duke University’s basketball squad, Tatum has laced up dozens of Air Jordan PEs that’ve helped tell his story. A Jordan 34 celebrating his son Deuce and their trips to the St. Louis Zoo was released at retail, with several more editions highlighting his family seen since.
He most recently debuted an AJ 36 inspired by the book “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” which he and Deuce would read over FaceTime while Tatum was hunkered away in the NBA Bubble.
Receiving his own Jordan signature is no small feat, as it entails working with Jordan’s design team on crafting his silhouette from scratch. He will join a select batch of Jordan endorsers to launch their own signature shoe, which officially includes Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Zion Williamson.
“I’ve been wearing Jordans since before I could walk, when I was 10 months old,” Tatum said when first signing on. “I told my mom, ‘The only way athletes get to come to the brand is if Jordan approves.’ Getting the approval from the greatest player of all time at 21 is an incredible feeling.”
Now 23, Tatum will continue to work behind the scenes with Jordan designers as one of fewer than 90 NBA players to receive their own signature shoe in the league’s 75-year history.