To celebrate Foot Locker’s mark of greatness, over the next month NBA.com will explore the stories of iconic basketball players, their journey to having their own iconic sneakers, and the stories and inspiration behind their creations.
Today it’s LeBron James.
Behind the logo: GIANNIS | WESTBROOK | SION | PG
From the moment he signed with the brand as a rookie in 2003, LeBron James has become synonymous with Nike.
It all started with Generation Air Zoom, LeBron’s first signature sneaker that turned the world upside down, thanks in large part to an ad campaign starring a king of comedy in Bernie Mac and starring some of the biggest legends of the NBA and the WNBA, from George Gervin to Dawn Staley.
LeBron being a unique phenomenon also played a big role in the popularity of the sneaker, might I add.
MORE: Create Your Own Nike Logo & Win With Foot Locker’s Greatness Mark
The sneaker itself, which James donned throughout his Rookie of the Year campaign, featured LeBron’s first logo that incorporated his LBJ initials, No.23, and the King James crown, because what- what a king without a crown?
As time passed and James’ game evolved, it was time for a change.
2010 saw LeBron bring his talents to South Beach, rising to No.6 to usher in a new era with a new team. His sneakers also featured a new logo.
With the Nike LeBron 8 came the “LJ” crown, a logo stylized in the same way as LeBron’s first logo, but dropping the 23 to provide a subtle incorporation of a new set of separate elements to create a brand. that stands out. And although James would return to number 23 upon his return to Cleveland in 2014 and for his subsequent move to Los Angeles in 2018, the âLJâ crown was here to stay.
Mirrored, James’s initials are topped with a crown, and as David Creech of Darrin Crescenzi Design explains, the negative space between the elements provides subtle visual references to a basketball court.
In the history of the game, there are few nicknames more appropriate than that of King James, and, as clichÃ© as it sounds, the basketball court is where he reigns supreme.
This is true to this day.
18 years after officially joining the Nike team, James has entered a superstar realm that only a privileged few have reached. Building on the 2003-04 Rookie of the Year campaign, LeBron added 17 All-Star appearances, 17 All-NBA selections, four MVPs, four NBA titles and four MVP Finals, and he’s now on his 19th shoe. signature.
Making their field debut in âSpace Jam: A New Legacy,â the Nike LeBron 19 is the latest installment in a line that has reached elite status. We’ve now come to the point where the LeBrons are downgraded, with the Generation Air Zoom, Nike LeBron 3, Nike LeBron 7, and Nike LeBron 8 each being re-released in recent years.
The LeBron 7 even had some shine in the 2020 NBA Finals.
The LeBron 8’s latest retro “South Beach” lines up perfectly with LeBron’s choice to return to wear No.6 for the 2021-22 season, his 19th in the NBA.
In Miami, the No.6 brought James his third and fourth MVP and, more importantly, his first two NBA titles and Finals MVP. And while James won his third and fourth titles after falling back to No.23, the common thread running through his four NBA titles is that each of his sneakers bore the logo introduced in 2010.
So begins the next act of James’ career, a return to No.6 at a time when he remains at the top of his game in pursuit of his fifth NBA Championship. Along the way, LeBron has a chance to rise to second on the NBA’s all-time scoring list and become the seventh player in league history to distribute more than 10,000 career assists.
Through it all, the king’s crown – and his family – will be well represented at his feet.
Head over to markofgreatness.com and design your signature logo and share it on social media using the hashtag #markofgreatness.
The opinions on this page do not necessarily reflect those of the NBA or its clubs.