Last week, news broke of a Nike basketball pack known as "Champions Think 16" featuring first-ever retros of sneakers including the KD 4 and LeBron Soldier 1. Now, the brand has unveiled the backstory behind the collection.
Officially known as "Art of a Champion," this 16-sneaker range is inspired by the 16 wins that a team must achieve to conquer the postseason and win championship gold. For this group, Nike took inspiration from significant moments in the careers of 14 athletes, along with an Air Force 270 inspired by the Larry O'Brien championship trophy and a mystery model tied to this year's eventual NBA champions.
Formerly nicknamed "Close Out," this Kobe 1 Protro is officially dubbed "Final Seconds" and pays tribute to Kobe Bryant's performance in Game 4 of the 2006 NBA Playoffs first round. This pair releases Saturday, April 14.
Julius Erving gets a "The Scoop" Converse Pro Leather Mid inspired by his lay-up in Game 4 of the 1980 NBA Finals. These release on Thursday, April 19.
Rasheed Wallace and the Detroit Pistons' 2004 title win over the Lakers is commemorated with this "Rude Awakening" Air Force 1 High, which releases Thursday, April 26.
Symbolizing Kawhi Leonard's role as the future of the Spurs after the team's decade-plus of dominance, this "Pass the Torch" Air Jordan 1 references Game 3 of the 2014 Finals and releases April 28.
Bill Russell stole the show in Game 7 of the 1962 Finals with 30 points and an astonishing 40 rebounds, which is the inspiration for this Converse Chuck 70 Ox arriving May 3.
Scottie Pippen's Air Maestro 2 returns in original form with this colorway paying homage to his triple-double in Game 2 of the 1993 Finals. These release on May 10.
Ray Allen's crucial three-pointer in Game 6 of the 2013 Finals inspired this colorway of the Air Jordan 28, which launches May 12.
Kevin McHale's physical play from the 1984 Finals gets immortalized on this Converse Fastbreak Hi. The Celtics-inspired sneakers release May 17.
Wes Unseld's confidence from the stripe during Game 7 of the 1978 Finals serves as the inspiration for this Converse Star Player Ox, which is set to drop May 17.
Moses Malone's 1983 playoff sweep prediction almost came true, and Nike's paying homage with this "Fo' Fi' Fo" Air Force 1 Low on May 19.
In her 2011 rookie season, Maya Moore led the Minnesota Lynx to their first championship, which inspired this Air Jordan 11 Low releasing May 24.
On May 31, Nike will release the first-ever Zoom Soldier 1 retro, which references a young LeBron's performance during the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals.
First believed to be nicknamed "Thunderstruck," Nike has clarified that it's calling this KD 4 "Battle Tested." The first-of-its-kind retro is expected to release June 7.
Perhaps the most obvious inspiration of the bunch, the "Last Shot" Air Jordan 14 pays tribute to Michael Jordan's title-clenching shot in Game 6 of the 1998 Finals. These release June 14 on the 20th anniversary of the play that inspired them.