Kevin Durant's ninth signature Nike sneaker just debuted this week, but the player will put in work for the rest of the NBA season in the KD 8 Elite. The upgraded version of the KD8 is equipped with a compression sleeve, which is similar to what's seen on the Nike Kobe 9 and the recently unveiled Nike HyperDunk 2016.
"With the Elite, we always treat it as a concept car," Nike Basketball Design Director Leo Chang said. "The KD8 was based around the idea of the Playoffs. Players are fatigued and tired at that point in the season, so compression is really an important thing."
Durant has already taken the Elite version of his current signature sneaker out on court. According to Chang, there's also an even more radical makeup of the KD8 that the player will debut when the NBA Playoffs officially get here.
"There’s one he’s actually going to wear that goes all the way up to his knees. That’ll be pretty cool. Just from a product standpoint, we’re looking on how to blend the tight that he normally wears—in sock or shoe," Chang said. "What if we were to literally integrate all that together into one product—so that it almost feels seamless where you don’t know where the next layer starts. That was the idea behind that—to push for something more futuristic."
No word on whether or not this elite version of the KD8 Elite will make it to market or if it's just exclusive to Durant. On thing is for certain: the sneaker will definitely be a first for the game of basketball.