Nick Young has never been an All-Star. He has only made the playoffs twice in nine years. And he doesn’t even currently start for the second worst team in the NBA. Yet, when it comes to sneakers, he’s one of the most influential players in the league.
When Young found himself between sneaker deals earlier this season, it wasn’t surprising to see him carry on the tradition of players like Kobe Bryant and Gilbert Arenas by wearing anything and everything he could get his feet in from adidas, to Jordan, and even Fila.
“At the time I didn’t have nobody,” he said in an interview with Sole Collector, adding that he even broke out pairs of Fila Grant Hills and Reebok Answers. “I was thinking of all kind of shoes I could wear.”
After a brief sneaker free agency, Young officially made the jump to adidas this past December. The reason?
“Nike is really only three people. Kobe, Durant and LeBron,” he explained. “I like the concept of how adidas adds everybody in their shoe commercial. The way adidas is going and the waves they’ve got, I was getting on board.”
Speaking of those waves, Young also saw Kanye West as an influence for his decision. “That helped adidas out a trillion times,” Young laughed. “And of course I asked for the whole Kanye collection. Bring me everything.”
Switching brands also meant building a new arsenal of sneakers to hit the court in. Young went back into the adidas archives for shoes like Kobes, T-Macs and models from Gilbert Arenas’ old signature line.
“I had a connection for Gil since that’s my good friend,” he said. “I went in his closets.”