Michael Jordan & LeBron James — Two Basketball Shoe Giants
Posted on February 19 2019
When people argue about the best player in NBA history, there are usually two key names that come up — Michael Jordan and LeBron James. Usually, when this conversation is had there are people that feel strongly as to which one is better. While that is a conversation that we would love to have here at Laced., we see it as more beneficial to discuss the shoes of Michael Jordan and the new King of Los Angeles.
Whether you believe that Michael Jordan is the best basketball player of all time, believe that LeBron James is without a doubt the reigning best, or even if you think that it is too hard to compare two players that played in two very different times in the league, there is one thing that we can all agree upon — their legacy extends far off of the court.
Both LeBron James and Michael Jordan have played pivotal roles in the development of basketball sportswear. As a Los Angeles shoe store, we understand the culture of sneakers both on and off the court, with our store selling the latest shoe styles and limited edition shoes. Because of this, we see it fit to pay homage to two of the largest-impact players of the current era.
Join us as we briefly discuss the impact that each player’s signature shoe had on the sport of basketball, as well as sneaker culture.
Michael Jordan And The Air Jordan Shoe
Naturally, when you talk about basketball shoes you can’t do so without bringing up the Air Jordan — after all, it was the first of its kind. Before Nike and Michael Jordan teamed up to create the original Air Jordan, the NBA only allowed one shoe to be worn — a shoe that today we would never guess to be a basketball shoe — the Chuck Tailor All-Star.
Michael Jordan inked a deal right out of college with Nike for roughly $2.5 million. Shortly after, the NBA banned the original Air Jordan shoe because it did not comply with the strict uniform regulations that the NBA enforced. After playing an entire season and receiving the rookie of the year award, a season where Nike paid the $5,000 dollars a game to cover the fine for the shoes, the Air Jordan era had begun. Ever since, Jordans have been a staple of basketball and streetwear.
The significance of the Air Jordan is simple. For the first time in the history of the sport a drastic change in footwear technology had been made — and to this day Nike has never looked back. To this day, there have been upwards of 30 different iterations of Air Jordans (not including the different variations and colorways).
Air Jordans not only changed basketball forever, but they changed the way that shows were developed forever. Shoes like…
LeBron James’s Air Zoom Generation - Lebron 16s
When it comes to the LeBron generation of basketball shoes and streetwear, the story sounds very much the same. In much the same way that Nike took the gamble on Michael Jordan, LeBron James was offered a large sum of money and a contract — the only difference being that the $90 million dollar contract made LeBron a multimillionaire before even being drafted.
While the LeBron line of footwear may not have crossed monumental boundaries of innovation like the Air Jordan before it, it does show the creative success that the sneaker industry can have with the assistance of a superstar like LeBron. Currently, there are upwards of 16 iterations of LeBrons that come in a wide variety of variations and colorways — and there is no sign of the LeBron line stopping soon.
Why Are These Shoes Significant?
Air Jordans and LeBrons are extremely significant — and not just because they look cool and are comfortable. As both of these shoe lines develop, they have broken down barriers of what people thought was in a basketball shoe while also proving that professional athletes and influencers can help to build a dynasty in more than just a sport that they call their profession.
In addition to proving worth as an asset on the court, the Air Jordan and LeBron lines have proven to be successful of the court — with people everywhere buying their own little piece of sportswear history.
Where Can I Find Iconic Shoes Like The Air Jordan & LeBron Lines?
If you are looking for some of the most iconic, most rare, and limited edition shoes in the Los Angeles area, we urge you to come to visit us at Laced. Specializing in men’s fashion sneakers and boutique-style clothing and streetwear, we are your go-to source of L.A. style.
Aside from watching LeBron James play at the STAPLES Center, the easiest way to see some LeBrons in action is to stop by our Los Angeles shoe store. So what are you waiting for? Come see us today! Follow our social media pages @lacedsouthbay and #GetLaced.