In early September at Nike’s World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., nine players in the NBA and WNBA’s rookie and sophomore class arrived for a custom design session with NikeiD. The purpose was to design their opening-week kicks for the 2018-19 season, infused with whatever personalized flourish they wanted.
The timing couldn’t have been more serendipitous. The Association had decided just that week to loosen its rules on shoe colorways. Players are now allowed to wear shoes of any color, at any point during the year, pending the approval of a player’s respective team.
Just like that, the customization session became more than an imaginative exercise, but an opportunity to let loose on opening-week shoes for what will be a wild season in PEs.
“I think it’s dope that the League is letting us wear different colorways this year,” says Golden State Warriors power forward Jordan Bell. “For me, It’s like the NFL giving their own players freedom to celebrate. Players can let their style and swag show while also telling a chapter of their story with each pair of shoes.”
See below for the opening-night NikeiD footwear from the visiting rookie and sophomore players.