"Where's the LeBron 14?" That became a more and more popular question as the months passed last fall. Nike has seemingly gotten its leaks under control, at least when it comes to signature-level product, so it wasn’t a surprise when samples didn’t hit over the summer like they had in years past. But when the start of the season came and went without a new model to be found, it was surprising.

It was more of a curiosity than a tragedy though. LeBron 13s were sitting on sale shelves at any retailer that stocked them, and the Soldier 10 was in the midst of a post-NBA Championship victory lap, so it was more that people were wondering where LeBron James' next shoe was than clamoring for it. Add the delay to the return of the Air Zoom Generation and the 14 could have easily become an afterthought in the minds of fans. Yet, despite everything going against it, when the “Out of Nowhere” colorway of the LeBron 14 dropped after finally debuting on Christmas Day, it not only sold out, it caused a near-riot at its NYC launch.

It’d been a long time since we’d seen a frenzy over a new LeBron model. Limited drops like the “Cork” LeBron 10 once inspired campouts, but interest in the line has waned with more recent models. The LeBron signature line has undoubtedly had its ups and downs over the years, with some of the most popular models not necessarily coinciding with the best performing, and some barely making it to the court. But could the initial response to the 14 be a sign of returning interest? And could that popularity begin to align with performance as it did in the earliest days in the line?

Hover over the dots for a breakdown of how the Nike LeBron 14 performs on-court.