Lebron James and his motley crew have been annihilated by a superior Warriors’ team in a shameful fashion, a sweep. I wrote about my disdain of the concept of the super teams in the NBA, see link below
The warriors might be the 2018 NBA champions but what has dominated the news since Cleveland’s defeat has been the future of Lebron James. His herculean performance in this year’s playoffs has proved to us that he is still the best player in the NBA. The Lebron/Jordan debates are borderline asinine at this point; I don’t think MJ would’ve been able to beat the Warriors with the crew King James was given. What I’m trying to say is that even though Golden States won the championship, they have not been the focus of sports’s media outlets. The last time Lebron’s future was unknown to the extent that it is now was in 2010 when Cleveland was destroyed in the ECF final by my Celtics. King James drew a lot of criticism when he announced his destination via the Decision on National TV; to be honest he is to be blamed to some degree for setting in motion this concept of the Super Teams. As the whole basketball world was arguing over Lebron’s decision to join D Wade and the Heat, Nike’s execs were rubbing their hands at the golden opportunity engendered. The brand released the Lebron 8 South Beach Edition that took King James’s signature shoes to another level. Every artist around that time created their own version of the South Beach/ Pre heat themed sneaker. Not only that but people took a lot more interest in Lebron’s sneakers and they started flying off shelves; these were some of the best years of Nike basketball sneakers.
As you all know, performance shoes ( those geared towards basketball) aren’t doing very well sales wise, that’s not a secret. But Nike has added more value to Lebron’s shoes this year by randomly releasing limited editions of the Lebron XV during several NBA games. The Lebron XV has sustained its retail value on third party marketplaces and that is a great sign. Most of the models between the 10’s and 14’s were selling for less than 40% of their original retail value on places like eBay. I’ve already said it before but let me reiterate it-resellers drive the sneaker game.
Since Lebron is in the same position he was in 2010, Nike might be able to strike gold. People have been debating for days now about his future destination and Nike is in the perfect storm again. I don’t think he will be shunned this year if he leaves Cleveland ( he has become a hero now) so Nike has great content to work with. And with great content come inspiring narratives and you know what that means for sneakers. Nike might as well go ahead and create the Lebron XV aka “Where Do I Go/Decision” , tell me if people won’t flock to it? I’m telling you Nike is in a great position again to make some noise. While we wait for Lebron to tell us where he is going, let’s see what could happen if he decided to go to Philly.