A perfect storm of sports and entertainment occurred 10 years ago, as LeBron James hit the apex of his basketball career in Miami and Jay-Z and Kanye West dominated music with their classic album, Watch the Throne. James, a longtime friend of Jay and Ye, celebrated their collaborative effort with a special Throne-inspired take on his signature sneaker, the Nike LeBron 9. The shoe was exclusively issued to friends, family, and because of an internal illegal Nike PE scandal at the time, collectors who were willing to spend big money to acquire a pair. Since then, “Watch the Throne” 9s have become one of James’ most coveted sneakers, hitting five figures on resale sites such as StockX over the years. That price tag has made it virtually impossible for ‘regular’ collectors to lock down a pair, but that appears to be changing soon.
Images have surfaced of a “Watch the Throne” LeBron 9 retro, delivered pretty much exactly like the original. The shoe is styled in black and metallic gold, highlighted by Givenchy-like print on the laces and lining—a nod to the style prominent in the rap duo’s wardrobe at the time. Perhaps the most eye-catching element of the retro is the inclusion of the molded gold lace jewel, inspired by the album’s artwork and overall aesthetic.
A release date hasn’t been announced, but official images being uploaded is typically an indication that a launch will take place more sooner than later. Stick with Complex Sneakers for updates on when and where you can finally buy a pair.
Nike LeBron 9 “Watch the Throne”
Release Date: Fall 2021
Color: Black/Metallic Gold
Style #: DO9358-001