The conventional wisdom is big men don’t sell shoes.
But Giannis Antetokounmpo is not Shaq or Dwight Howard — he is a positionless, ball-handling, guard in a power forward’s body who obliterates traditional roles. The Greek Freak is also one of the fastest rising stars in the NBA, a guy who broke out last season and early in 2017-18 is trying to inject himself into the MVP conversation.
Antetokounmpo should sell shoes — and Nike is banking on that.
Antetokounmpo, who was the biggest sneaker free agent on the market, has re-signed with Nike, something he confirmed.
According to Nick DePaula and Darren Rovell of ESPN, the deal includes a signature shoe line for Antetokounmpo.
A key component of the new Nike deal for Antetokounmpo, sources said, is that it also includes the creation of a signature shoe. The process of designing a signature shoe is typically part of a 14-18 month timeline.
With the Bucks set to play the Portland Trail Blazers later this month on Nov. 30, Nike is looking to begin that process over the coming weeks and again in person at Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. It is likely that the soonest a “Giannis 1” sneaker would release would be during the fall or holiday seasons of 2019, according to insiders.
Right now LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Paul George, and Kyrie Irving are the only players with Nike signature shoes. (Other players have signature shoes with other brands, such as James Harden with Adidas, or they have shoe lines under Nike’s Air Jordan brand, as Chris Paul does.)
I can’t wait to see what the Antetokounmpo’s look like.