A few weeks back, Sneaker News reported that Nike Basketball would not have any special themed signature shoes for the 2017 NBA All-Star in New Orleans. Nike has confirmed this with Sole Collector, saying that its players involved in the All-Star festivities will instead wear pairs from its latest Black History Month collection.
The departure from All-Star footwear tradition is a bit of a surprise given the extent to which Nike Basketball signature offerings have been highlights for lines like Kevin Durant's and LeBron James' in terms of energy. The brand hasn't officially explained why it's skipping All-Star Nike Basketball sneakers this year, but there's plenty of room for speculation.
Sales of basketball sneakers in general are down, so it's possible Nike has adjusted by releasing less colorways overall of its latest crop of signature models. There's also the issue of location for this year's All-Star, which went from being planned for Charlotte, North Carolina, to being held in New Orleans after the NBA pulled out of North Carolina over its controversial Bathroom Bill. Nike's All-Star collections are usually geographically themed, and it's not a stretch to think that the 2017 All-Star models were scrapped after the brand couldn't figure out how to spin Charlotte colorways as New Orleans ones.