Pro Basketball Talk was in Miami for the release of the Nike LeBron 8 PS, the playoff series edition of LeBron James’ signature shoe. In Part One of our three-part profile, we look at the concept behind designing a signature shoe series for one of the game’s top players.
If you’re at all into sneaker culture, or maybe just curious about the creative and technical aspects of what goes into designing performance footwear for the game’s elite athletes, then the presentation given by Nike footwear designer Jason Petrie on the LeBron 8 PS is something you’re likely to find extremely interesting.
Addressing a select group of media that Nike flew into town for the occasion, Petrie began by talking about the creative process, and the concept behind designing the three very different editions of the shoes that James has worn over the course of the season.
The PS is the final release of the LeBron 8s, and instead of merely changing colorways or making minor aesthetic tweaks to the shoe as the series went on, the plan was to evolve the line for the different performance needs that a player has as the season progresses. The word Petrie used to describe it was “transformation,” and there’s no doubt that the sneakers have undergone exactly that from the first to the third editions.
Petrie’s discussion of the creative process can be seen in the video clip below.
PBT Extra: Will Kings finally end playoff drought?
A lot of people around the NBA have ideas to improve the draft, free agency and the D-League, and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has never been shy about sharing his. His latest idea seems pretty logical: a supplemental draft for undrafted free agents.
“I would have a supplemental draft every summer for undrafted free agents of the current and previous 3 years,” Cuban wrote in an email to Hoops Rumors. “If you are more than 3 years out you are not eligible and just a free agent.”
The supplemental draft would have two rounds, and teams would hold the rights to the players they select for two years, Cuban added. Players can opt out and choose not to make themselves eligible, but those who get picked would receive fully guaranteed minimum-salary contracts when they sign, according to Cuban’s proposal.
“That would make it fun a few weeks after the draft and pre-summer league,” Cuban wrote. “It would prevent some of the insanity that goes on to build summer league rosters.”
It’s an interesting proposition. Most undrafted players who sign during the summer don’t get guaranteed contracts, so when deciding to enter this supplemental draft, they would have to weigh the value of having guaranteed money versus getting to decide where they sign. It’s unlikely that anything like this could happen anytime soon, because of all the hoops to jump through to get the league and the players’ union to sign off on it, but it’s a worthwhile idea that deserves some consideration in the next CBA negotiations.