The Sneakers That Ruled the NBA in Season 2019/20
After a forced shutdown, followed by a never-before-seen restart inside the Disney World ‘Bubble’, we’ve finally made to the Finals of the 2019/20 NBA Season.
Plenty of storylines have kept us intrigued along the way, from the LA franchises dominating the West to the emergence of Luka Dončić at the Mavs. However, as you’d expect, nothing piqued our interest more than the sneaker heat that hit the hardwood each night.
We’ve been keeping a close eye on what the players have been rocking all year, so here’s which kicks we think ruled the court during the 2019/20 season.
Air Jordan 34
When Jordan Brand and Zion Williamson lifted the lid on the Air Jordan 34, we knew it was going to be a hit among the NBA’s playing roster. Without a doubt, it improved on the lukewarm success of the AJ33, stripping the Air Jordan flagship down to the essentials.
The Jumpman’s design team created one of the lightest Jordans ever, with the AJ34 weighing in at just 13.1 ounces for a US size 9. Straying away from the fast-fit design of the AJ33, the 34 was conceptualised from scratch, eventually landing on the fan-favourite Zoom Air as the sneaker’s dominant tech. Enclosed in a brand new Eclipse Plate, the Zoom was combined with two Pebax pieces with a hollow core for explosive-yet-stable cushioning.
Dozens of the NBA’s best laced up the AJ34 throughout the season, most notably the aforementioned Williamson, plus Celtics young gun Jayson Tatum, who both revealed amazing PEs along the way.
Nike LeBron 7
With most of the preseason talk focussing on crosstown rivals the Clippers, the LA Lakers and LeBron James have already exceeded expectation by finishing top of the Western Conference and dominating the Playoffs. Once again, the King was pivotal in his team’s journey to the Finals, and he also brought his A-game when it came to the sneaker stakes.
While many expected the flagship LeBron 17 to take centre stage, LeBron had other plans. For much of the season he opted for the fan-favourite LeBron 7, a silhouette he made famous a decade ago. Ten years on, the Air Max–infused baller looks just as good, returning in a number of colourways during 2019/20.
Notably, ‘Bron made an important statement off and on the court, using his 7s to spruik messages of equality.
Nike Kobe 5
The passing of Kobe Bryant back in January rocked the sporting world to its core, with heartfelt tributes coming in from the NBA’s roster, and far beyond. The Mamba’s signature line has always been one of the most popular in the league, and the stars of the game responded to the sad loss by dusting off their favourite models to wear on court.
Week after week, it was the Nike Kobe 5 Protro that lit up the hardwood, from GR colourways to exclusive PEs. Building on the game-changing Kobe 4, it remains the go-to low-cut silhouette for elite players, with dozens lacing ‘em up each week. Players were quick to snap up pairs of UNDEFEATED’s ‘Mamba Week’ lineup, while sneaker king PJ Tucker made uber-rare colourways of the 5 regulars in his rotation – including his own PE.
Making use of full-length Zoom Air cushioning in a lightweight package, the Kobe 5 is further proof that ‘less is more’ when it comes to player-geared performance in the NBA.