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Head-To-Head // Players Wearing Signature Sneakers vs. The Signature Athlete This Season

Head-To-Head // Players Wearing Signature Sneakers vs. The Signature Athlete This Season

words // Brandon Richard

Tonight, the 2013 NBA Finals will get underway at American Airlines Arena, where the Miami Heat will host the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1. Not only can we expect to see basketball being played at the absolute highest level, but we can all finally get the answer to the question that's been on our minds — will Manu Ginobili and Danny Green switch out of their Nike LeBron sneakers for the Finals?

Throughout the season, Manu has laced up the LeBron 9 and X, while Danny Green has played in the Zoom Soldier VI. However, with a matchup against the King looming, will the two Spurs stars make a change to get their competitive juices flowing?

Manu missed the Spurs' two games against the Heat this season. Green rocked the Soldier VI when the Spurs played the Heat back in April, but it was known that LeBron wouldn't play in that game in advance.

There's a completely different mindset in today's NBA. The players are friendlier and rivalries have fallen by the wayside. A select few wore Air Jordans while MJ was still active, but just about every team has a player wearing the opposition's signature sneakers these days. With that said, there were instances this season where players perhaps showed some competitive edge in changing shoes when matched up against a signature athlete.

Eric Bledsoe, a close friend of LeBron, spent majority of the season playing in the LeBron X and Soldier VI. In the two games the Los Angeles Clippers played against the Heat, Bledsoe wore the Air Max 2 Strong and Huarache 2K4. Golden State's Draymond Green famously played in a variety of LeBron X iDs this season, but went with the Lunar Hyperdunk and Air Penny II against Miami. Coincidence or competitiveness?

Despite those few exceptions, there are a lot of players who still laced up signature sneakers when matched up with the signature athlete. Below is a look at 30 examples from this past season, including James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and even Brandon Jennings. Would you change shoes if you were playing against a signature athlete?

Ekpe Udoh wearing Nike LeBron 9 Low Liverpool; LeBron James wearing Nike LeBron X PS Elite PE

April 21, 2013
Ekpe Udoh - Nike LeBron 9 Low "Liverpool"
LeBron James - Nike Lebron X PS Elite PE

Tristan Thompson wearing Nike Zoom Soldier VI; LeBron James wearing Nike LeBron X Silver PE

March 20, 2013
Tristan Thompson - Nike Zoom Soldier VI PE
LeBron James - Nike LeBron X PE

Daniel Gibson wearing Nike Zoom Soldier V; LeBron James wearing Nike Zoom LeBron VI Fairfax

March 20, 2013
Daniel Gibson - NIke Zoom Soldier V
LeBron James - Nike Zoom LeBron VI "Fairfax"

Tyler Hansbrough wearing Nike Zoom Soldier VI; LeBron James wearing Nike LeBron X PE

March 10, 2013
Tyler Hansbrough - NIke Zoom Soldier VI
LeBron James - Nike LeBron X PE

Dequan Jones wearing Nike LeBron X Prism; LeBron James wearing Nike LeBron X PE

March 6, 2013
Dequan Jones - Nike LeBron X "Prism"
LeBron James - Nike LeBron X PE

Nikola Vucevic wearing Nike Zoom Soldier VI; LeBron James wearing Nike LeBron X PE

March 6, 2013
Nikola Vucevic - Nike Zoom Soldier VI
LeBron James - Nike LeBron X PE

DeMarre Carroll wearing Nike Zoom Soldier VI; LeBron James wearing Nike LeBron X PE

January 14, 2013
DeMarre Carroll - Nike Zoom Soldier VI
LeBron James - Nike LeBron X PE

Ty Lawson wearing Nike LeBron 9 PS Elite Taxi; LeBron James wearing Nike LeBron X Carbon

November 15, 2012
Ty Lawson - Nike LeBron 9 P.S. Elite "Taxi"
LeBron James - Nike LeBron X "Carbon"

Kosta Koufos wearing Nike LeBron Solder VI; LeBron James wearing Nike LeBron X Carbon

November 15, 2012
Kosta Koufos - Nike Zoom Soldier VI
LeBron James - Nike LeBron X "Carbon"

Jarrett Jack wearing Nike KD IV Entourage; Kevin Durant wearing Nike KD V N7

April 11, 2013
Jarrett Jack - Nike Zoom KD IV "Entourage"
Kevin Durant - Nike KD V "N7"

Al Jefferson wearing Nike KD V iD; Kevin Durant wearing Nike KD V PE

April 9, 2013
Al Jefferson - Nike KD V iD
Kevin Durant - Nike KD V PE

J.J. Barea wearing Nike Zoom KD IV iD; Kevin Durant wearing Nike KD V OKC Home

February 22, 2013
J.J. Barea - Nike Zoom KD IV iD
Kevin Durant - Nike KD V "OKC Home"

P.J. Tucker wearing Nike KD V Black Orange; Kevin Durant wearing Nike KD V PE

February 10, 2013
P.J. Tucker - Nike KD V Black/Orange
Kevin Durant - Nike KD V PE

P.J. Tucker wearing Nike KD V BHM; Kevin Durant wearing Nike KD V OKC Home

February 6, 2013
P.J. Tucker - Nike KD V BHM
Kevin Durant - Nike KD V "OKC Home"

P.J. Tucker wearing Nike KD V iD; Kevin Durant wearing Nike KD V OKC Away

January 14, 2013
P.J. Tucker - Nike KD V iD
Kevin Durant - Nike KD V "OKC Away"

Maurice Harkless wearing Nike Kobe 8 System Blue Lights; Kobe Bryant wearing Nike Kobe 8 System PE

March 12, 2013
Maurice Harkless - Nike Kobe 8 System "Blue Lights"
Kobe Bryant - Nike Kobe 8 System PE

Tobias Harris wearing NIke Kobe 8 System Blue Lights; Kobe Bryant wearing Nike Kobe 8 PE

March 12, 2013
Tobias Harris - Nike Kobe 8 System "Blue Lights"
Kobe Bryant - Nike Kobe 8 System PE

DeMar DeRozan wearing Nike Kobe 8 System iD; Kobe Bryant wearing Nike Kobe 8 System Lakers Home PE

March 8, 2013
DeMar DeRozan - Nike Kobe 8 System iD
Kobe Bryant - Nike Kobe 8 System "Home" PE

Landry Fields & John Lucas wearing Nike Kobe 8 System Year of the Snake; Kobe Bryant wearing Nike Kobe 8 System Home PE

March 8, 2013
Landry Fields & John Lucas - Nike Kobe 8 System "Year of the Snake"
Kobe Bryant - Nike Kobe 8 System "Home" PE

Luke Ridnour wearing Nike Zoom Kobe V; Kobe Bryant wearing Nike Kobe 8 System Sulfur

February 12, 2013
Luke Ridnour - Nike Zoom Kobe V TB
Kobe Bryant - Nike Kobe 8 System "Sulfur"

Alexey Shved wearing Nike Kobe 7 System; Kobe Bryant wearing Nike Kobe 8 System Sulfur

February 1, 2013
Alexey Shved - Nike Kobe 7 System
Kobe Bryant - Nike Kobe 8 System "Sulfur"

Goran Dragic wearing Nike Kobe VI PE; Kobe Bryant wearing Nike Kobe 8 System Court Purple

January 30, 2013
Goran Dragic - Nike Zoom Kobe VI PE
Kobe Bryant - Nike Kobe 8 System "Court Purple"

Mike Dunleavy Jr. wearing Nike Kobe VI TB; Kobe Bryant wearing Nike Kobe 8 System Home PE

January 15, 2013
Mike Dunleavy Jr. - Nike Kobe VI TB
Kobe Bryant - Nike Kobe 8 System "Home" PE

Dion Waiters wearing Nike Kobe 7 System iD; Kobe Bryant wearing Nike Kobe 8 System Home PE

January 13, 2013
Dion Waiters - Nike Kobe 7 System iD
Kobe Bryant - Nike Kobe 8 System "Home" PE

Kwame Brown wearing Nike Kobe VI; Kobe Bryant wearing Nike Kobe 8 System Home PE

January 1, 2013
Kwame Brown - Nike Zoom Kobe VI TB
Kobe Bryant - Nike Kobe 8 System "Home" PE

Nick Young wearing Nike Zoom Kobe I; Kobe Bryant wearing Nike Kobe 8 System Sulfur

December 16, 2012
Nick Young - Nike Zoom Kobe I
Kobe Bryant - Nike Kobe 8 System "Sulfur"

Bradley Beal wearing Nike Kobe 7 System Gold Medal

December 14, 2012
Bradley Beal - Nike Kobe 7 System "Gold Medal"
Kobe Bryant - Nike Kobe 8 System "Sulfur"

Shannon Brown wearing Nike Zoom Kobe VI; Kobe Bryant wearing Nike Kobe 7 System

November 16, 2012
Shannon Brown - Nike Zoom Kobe VI
Kobe Bryant - Nike Kobe 7 System

Nene wearing adidas adipower Howard; Dwight Howard wearing adidas D Howard Light Lakers Away

March 22, 2013
Nene - adidas adipower Howard
Dwight Howard - adidas D Howard Light "Lakers Away"

Greivis Vasquez wearing Under Armour Micro G Bloodline PE; Brandon Jennings wearing Under Armour Micro G Bloodline

November 17, 2012
Greivis Vasquez - Under Armour Micro G Bloodline PE
Brandon Jennings - Under Armour Micro G Bloodline

Writers Poll
Poll: Would you ditch signature sneakers when playing against the signature athlete?
Yes
No
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POSTED Jul 23, 2014
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