Boardroom’s Nick DePaula highlights the most epic footwear of the NBA’s annual event.
All-Star Weekend has long served as the league’s biggest stage for the NBA’s greatest players. Over the last two decades, the series of showcases slated throughout the weekend have also become one of the biggest platforms for the sneaker industry.
From new signature shoe debuts, brand signing announcements, and even special editions honoring the rotating host city, All-Star Weekend has become the year’s biggest moment on the court, with countless brand activations and events also taking place off the court all weekend.
Range in Representation
Of the 27 players selected to the 71st All-Star Game, Nike Inc.’s trio of Nike Basketball, Jordan Brand and Converse will be worn by more than half of this year’s All-Stars. The Three Stripes will see three of its brand ambassadors — Trae Young, Donovan Mitchell, and James Harden — lacing up in Adidas sneakers.
First-time All-Star Andrew Wiggins is also expected to debut his first Peak signature shoe. Li-Ning’s duo of Jimmy Butler and Fred VanVleet gives the brand with less than 10 total endorsers some solid visibility in the showcase game.
Additionally, four brands will have one athlete on the hardwood. Zach LaVine remains the only All-Star who is currently a sneaker free agent.
LaMelo Ball and the Puma Effect
Even before LaMelo Ball laced up a bright new pair of Pumas tonight, marking the brand’s first All-Star Game sighting since Isiah Thomas in 1990, the company that re-entered hoops just three years ago has arguably had the best showing this weekend.
Olympic high jumper Gianmarco Tamberi pulled off a tip dunk in the “Rick & Morty” MB.01, while Peloton trainer and Puma ambassador Alex Toussaint rocked two pairs of MB.01s on his way to winning Celebrity All-Star Game MVP.
LaMelo donned his instant-sell-out Rick & Mortys in the Rising Stars Game, before debuting a new vivid purple pair at All-Star practice.
Just blocks away from Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, the Puma Hoops Lounge hosted the freshest brand space in Cleveland, with players, execs, entertainers, and influencers stopping by hourly.
Cole Anthony Laces Up His Timbs
While the Dunk Contest may have underdelivered on the hype, Cole Anthony breaking out Timberlands for a tandem dunk with his pops, former New York Knick and current TNT broadcaster Greg Anthony, had the makings of an instant classic sneaker moment.
Juan Toscano-Anderson proudly became the first player of Mexican heritage to participate in the Dunk Contest, donning a Kobe 6 custom celebrating Mexico’s flag and customized jersey lettering to go along with the theme.
Other highlights spotted throughout the weekend included Josh Giddy breaking out the decade-old “NERF” KD 4, Jalen Suggs honoring one of Lebron James’ first player exclusives with the SVSM-themed TMac 2, and Machine Gun Kelly lacing up the “Cool Grey” Jordan XI — his very first pair of Js.
Find all of the best sneakers broken out so far during NBA All-Star Weekend below: