King James’ newest sneaker makes its debut this summer in Space Jam: A New Legacy.
In anticipation of the film’s July 16 release in theaters and on HBO Max, Nike and Converse announced a special apparel collection Tuesday teasing Space Jam: A New Legacy starring LeBron James.
Notable among the items is a Space Jam-themed colorway for the all-new LeBron 19 sneaker, a creation of Nike Basketball footwear designer Jason Petrie. The designer behind every one of King James‘ signature shoes since the LeBron 7, Petrie said that the 19s were very much built from scratch, and were inspired by the futuristic magic behind the film.
“This is the first time we’ve ever debuted a shoe in a movie,” Petrie said. “What we really wanted to do was reach into the movie and pull what LeBron’s wearing out into the real world for everyone to get ahold of.”
The 19s notably feature a double-chambered Air Max unit in the heel and a newly shaped Zoom Air forefoot unit.
“Looking at the form and the shape of it, you can see it has kind of a Space Age, otherworldly feel, all influenced by the notion of what was going to happen in Space Jam,” Petrie said. “We took that technology and wrapped it around his foot. We were definitely guided by what was happening in the film. “
“When you talk about the LeBron 19 that LeBron wears, it’s a very in-the-future sneaker, with new innovation, a new design,” said Maverick Carter, co-founder of Spring Hill Entertainment and a producer of the film. “I think the key part of working with Nike was Nike really came in and was a partner in helping us make the story and push the story forward, not just a supplier of product.”
In addition to the new LeBrons, fans are getting a trio of LeBron 18 Low colorways for both kids and adults focused on the most iconic rivalries and battles in Looney Tunes history, including Bugs Bunny vs. Marvin the Martian, Tweety Bird vs. Sylvester, and Road Runner vs. Wile. E. Coyote. Looney Tunes characters will also grace Air Force Ones and a Bugs Bunny LeBron 18 colorway.
The Nike Space Jam drop includes Tune Squad and Goon Squad apparel, from jerseys and shorts to jackets, tees, backpacks, and hoodies. Converse is getting in on the fun, too, releasing a Lola Bunny Pro Leather sneaker and a series of graphic T-shirts, shorts, and hoodies featuring a classic roster of characters.
“You’re not just buying a t-shirt, you’re buying a story. To see it all come together with the film launching and the product launching, it’s amazing,” producer Maverick Carter said. “To be able to have a chance to create against a franchise like Space Jam and create something that will live forever was just something that we couldn’t pass up.”
The story of the LeBron 19 may begin on the big screen, but its future is meant to extend far, far beyond. A shoe that bears the name of the four-time NBA champ has to help him continue to excel on the court in what will be his 19th NBA season.
“From the beginning, we wanted to make sure that LeBron could be free to have that unbridled leap, let his athleticism take over, but make sure that he can come back down time and time again over the course of a long season,” Petrie said. “Just that repetitive impact protection. How do we keep him on the court longer? But make sure he’s faster and can stay in the air as long as he can and reduce that vertical lag.”
The Nike and Converse Space Jam: A New Legacy apparel collection arrives in July at Nike.com, SNKRS, and select retailers.