The NBA gives fans loaded slates of basketball on two holidays every year: Christmas Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day. That’s absolutely been the case this year – for example, we’ve gotten Cavaliers vs. Warriors on both days during the 2016-17 season.
Players around the league will oftentimes wear special sneakers on these days. And MLK Day’s kicks are unsurprisingly great. The most noteworthy shoes that anyone is wearing today absolutely belong to Draymond Green. Golden State’s do-everything forward wore a pair of blue and gold Nikes which read “Sideline Racism.”
— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) December 4, 2016
Green isn’t the only Warriors player with a special pair of kicks. Steph Curry decided to go in a different direction and use the game as an opportunity to honor his friend, Barack Obama. Curry will wear a pair of Under Armour Curry 3 “POTUS” during Golden State’s game against Cleveland.
Honoring our President Barack Obama today on court! He embodies the inspiration, faith & hope Dr. King stood for! We R Forever Grateful! #44 http://pic.twitter.com/TYc24JaWEu
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) January 16, 2017
Curry’s sneakers get hate from people on the web because one of his shoes – the Curry 2 Low “Chef”
– weren’t especially great. But credit where it’s due, these shoes are super sharp. As are the special Anta “KT2 MLK” sneakers that Klay Thompson went with.
Klay Thompson’s MLK Day special edition Anta sneakers. http://pic.twitter.com/BR1vaRT488
— Complex Sneakers (@ComplexSneakers) January 17, 2017
Also, in non-sneaker news, Golden State head coach Steve Kerr wore a quote with a King quote on it to his pregame press conference.
Kerr rocking the NBA MLK shirt. Quoted the Reverend: "we may have all come here on different ships but we’re all in the same boat." http://pic.twitter.com/rM6ht2pwJs
— Ann Killion (@annkillion) January 16, 2017
But there are plenty of players outside of Oakland whose kicks honored King on Monday. Nike released a series of sneakers worn by a number of their athletes. According to a release, these players are “paying tribute to Dr. King and the principles he stood for with the debut of blacked-out, player exclusive performance shoes on-court.”
Below, you can find the special editions of the LEBRON 14, KD9, KYRIE 3, PG1, and KOBE A.D.
Nike also released special editions of some of their well-known shoes, like the Hyperdunk 2016 (which you can see at the top of this post) and the Air Max Audacity. There are also a handful of special Jordan Brand kicks for today. Below are the Air Jordan XXXIs and the Jordan CP3.Xs, two of the sharpest sneakers that Jordan Brand dropped.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a big one across the league. It’s cool to see that players agree and are stepping up their shoe game.