In the late 1990s, Michael Jordan assembled Team Jordan, allowing fellow NBA players to sport the icon's brand on the court. At that time, Team Jordan included players such as Ray Allen, Mike Bibby, Michael Finley, Derek Anderson and a host of other talented athletes.
As an athlete, there is no greater sign of respect than having your peers wear your shoes. Kobe Bryant's and LeBron James' shoes have become staples in the NBA, on and off the court. On the court, they're functional equipment. Off the court, these shoes make a fashion statement.
Speaking of fashion, there is one non-athlete who may have the ability to cross over into the ranks of the sneaker heavyweights in the NBA. That person is Kanye West.
Whether you like it or not, Mr. West is one of the most influential people of this generation. In music, fashion and the sneaker world, Yeezy has had an unimaginable amount of success over the past decade-plus. As of late, the multi-platinum artist and producer has taken the sneaker world by storm.
The often disparaged entertainer is never shy about words, and in a recent song titled “Facts,” the Chicago-bred rapper took shots at Nike and the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan. He was even bold enough to take a jab at Jordan in his hook, though he later apologized via Twitter).
Yeezy, Yeezy, Yeezy just jumped over Jumpman
Yeezy, Yeezy, Yeezy just jumped over Jumpman
According to The Shoe Game, West has gone on record saying that his current shoe, the Adidas Yeezy Boost 750, can be used as a basketball shoe.
"You actually can play basketball better in this [Yeezy Boost] than the other ones. First of all it’s because it has BOOST technology which is the best technology."
I can't go as far to say that I agree with Yeezy, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see him try his hand at converting his shoes into a basketball phenomenon. Let's take a look at 11 NBA players who would be ideal to rock Kanye West's kicks on the court.
Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota Timberwolves
The high-flying budding superstar is already signed to Adidas, so it be an easy transition for him. With the combination of the Yeezy Boost and Wiggins’ jumping ability, it would be a great marketing scheme that could benefit both parties. Nike did something similar with Vince Carter and the Nike Shox in the early 2000s, and it created a huge buzz for Nike and Carter.
Dennis Schroder, Atlanta Hawks
The point guard of the frosted blonde fauxhawk coalition would be a hit rocking the Yeezy's. Though the speedy guard from Germany isn’t signed to Adidas, his style would mesh with West's. Internationally, it would be a great way to brand Schroder since he and Adidas both hail from Germany.
Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
The parallels between Rose and West are similar. Both are from Chicago, and they are both signed to Adidas. Rose had early success with his signature shoe. Since he has been hit with the injury bug, fans haven’t rushed to the stores to purchase his kicks. With Rose wearing the Yeezy’s, it would be a great look for the city of Chicago and the Adidas brand.
James Harden, Houston Rockets
I know Harden is trying to distance himself from the Kardashian family, but if “The Beard” sported the Yeezy’s on the hardwood it would be a perfect fit. The NBA superstar is known for his fashion off the court as well, and it would be a great look for the newly signed member of Team Adidas.
Jeff Teague, Atlanta Hawks
The former NBA All-Star is one of the most exciting players at his position. With Teague's flashy play on the court and his sense of style off it, this makes him a great fit to wear the Yeezy's. According to Kicks on Fire, Teague has already mentioned wanting to wear the Yeezy's in a game.
Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks
It’s rare to see someone standing over seven feet with swagger, but Porzingis is that guy. Being in the “Big Apple,” it would be huge to team up with West and Adidas. Though he is signed to Nike, making the switch wouldn’t a bad idea for the 20-year-old rookie sensation from Latvia. Oh yeah, maybe it could help his Latvian rap buddies OLAS get a deal with G.O.O.D. Music.
Mario Hezonja, Orlando Magic
Hezonja may not be a household name as of now, but he has the potential to become something special. The Croatian-born player is as confident as they come, and his game is electrifying. Although he isn’t endorsed by Adidas, it would be nice to see him soar through the air in the Yeezy’s.
Mike Conley Jr., Memphis Grizzlies
Conley Jr. has a great reputation for being one of the most stylish players in the NBA thanks to NBA stylist Brandon Williams. Conley, who is already a member of Team Adidas, would be a great fit to wear the Boost as a member of the Grit N’ Grind Grizzlies.
Nate Robinson, Free Agent
Nate Robinson may be searching for an NBA home, but Team Yeezy should always have a spot for the high-flying point guard. Robinson was one of the pioneers in the NBA to sport the Yeezy's while on the court. He wore them when he was a member of the Chicago Bulls and turned heads while doing so. West always pays homage to trendsetters, and it would be only right to give a salute to Robinson.
Nick Young, Los Angeles Lakers
To no surprise, Swaggy P has already worn the Yeezy Boosts on more than one occasion. The flashy baller has a history of wearing some of the best kicks on the court, and it would make perfect sense to continue to rep Mr. West now that he is a new member of the Adidas family.
P.J. Tucker, Phoenix Suns
Like the aforementioned Nick Young, Tucker is known to wear some of the best kicks on the court. This season, the bruising forward out of the University of Texas has worn a plethora of shoes including the Yeezy’s (the Nike version), Jordan’s and PE Kobe’s.
Sorry, Kris Humphries, you didn't make the cut.