As you already know, the Nike LeBron 12 has finally been revealed for real by LBJ himself at a colourful launch event at Nike's Oregon HQ. LeBron did a fair bit of talking too, about shoes and about his new (old) team. Here's some quotes from the press conference you might find interesting...
On being disappointed he couldn't wear the LeBron 11 because of comfort issues
'It hurt a lot and we started to get on the LeBron 12 right away, just so we wouldn’t have the same problem. I tested it a few times during the Playoffs, but the intensity in practice is kind of light because you play so many games. But for the last three-and-a-half weeks I’ve been going full throttle and the response is very good.
That’s the great thing about my partnership with Nike. If both sides don’t feel like the shoes fit the athlete, then we’re going to continue to go back to the lab until we figure it out. We went to the lab a lot. It hurt both of us because we loved the LeBron 11 so much, but we couldn’t get it to perform the way I wanted it to perform at a high level, the way Nike and myself are capable of having it performing it at.
[It was a priority] for me to be able to have a shoe that allows me to be fast, not weigh me down. The new technology is lightweight. It allows me to explode. When I land, it allows me to absorb the landings. It's great.'
On his signature line being retro'd
'I know it’s something that we’ll visit at some point. Right now, it’s not in the works, but it’s not out of the question. As a kid, I always dreamed about having a signature shoe, what it would look like. We’d definitely start (a bring-back) with the first one (LeBron 1), if it was my choice. But obviously it’s a partnership so we’d have to talk about it.'
On forming his own sub-brand, like Jordan Brand, in the future
'Why wouldn’t I follow the blueprint? You look at Michael Jordan’s business right now, he has a brand where he has other athletes wearing his shoes. Hopefully I can get to that point where I have a standalone brand and I can sign other athletes that fit my model.'
On how he could become worthy of being given his own brand
'At the end of the day, playing basketball and winning is what’s most important. That’s what I learned from Mike. Winning is the number one thing and everything else will take care of itself. If I win, I’ll be okay. I’ve had a few losses that I’m not too happy about, but we’ll be alright.'
On new teammates Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving
'I believe Kyrie can be the best point guard in the league very soon, and Kevin Love is already in the discussion as far as being the best power forward in the league. We have so many great [power forwards in the NBA]: Tim Duncan, if he's playing center or power forward, Dirk Nowitzki, LaMarcus Aldridge, Chris Bosh, Pau Gasol is still very good. But that's my vision, to maximize [Love's] potential, and his potential to be the best at his position.'