5 NBA players who signed signature shoe deals in their rookie year ft. Scoot Henderson & more
NBA rookies tend to have a long way until they can receive a signature shoe deal in their careers. However, there have been standout talents in the league's history who have impressed shoe companies. These rookies made a name for themselves early in their careers.
Signing a shoe deal is one thing, but getting a signature pair of sneakers takes it to another level. The rookies on this list have made a strong first impression for companies to give them signature shoes.
5 NBA players who signed signature shoe deals in their rookie year
#5. Allen Iverson
Selected with the first pick by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1996, Allen Iverson quickly became an icon in the league. Iverson signed with Reebok his rookie year and debuted his signature shoe, "Question."
Reebok followed it up the next year when they released "Answer 1," referring to his nickname, "The Answer."
#4. Shaquille O'Neal
Iverson wasn't the first rookie to debut a signature shoe as a rookie for Reebok. In 1992, Shaquille O'Neal signed with the company after being selected first overall by the Orlando Magic.
The "Shaq Attaq" took the market by storm. Not only was it O'Neal's first signature shoe, but Reebok's first time creating a shoe for an athlete.
#3. LeBron James
There have been tons of LeBron James shoes over the past 20 years. But one remains iconic for being James' first-ever signature shoe with Nike. As soon as he was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003, the company didn't waste any time offering him a deal.
James accepted and has one of the storied signature shoe lineups in the NBA.
#2. Michael Jordan
Nike almost lost Michael Jordan to Adidas, but the marketing department did its best to sign one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Jordan's deal with Nike led to the creation of the Air Jordan shoes, which are still stylishly relevant to this day.
The shoes and apparel have become part of the Jordan Brand, a Nike-owned company that stemmed from Jordan's shoes.
#1. Scoot Henderson
The newest addition to this list is Scoot Henderson of the Portland Trail Blazers. He showed off the Scoot Zeros, produced by Puma. His latest pair is set to release on Dec. 15, 2023.
Henderson was picked third overall by the Blazers.
Nike signed 13 NBA rookies to shoe deals in 2023
The rookie talent of the 2023 draft class has been excellent this season. There have been plenty of surprises deep in the class and some of the top picks have lived up to the expectations.
Here's the complete list of rookies signed by Nike this year:
- Victor Wembanyama - San Antonio Spurs
- Brandon Miller - Charlotte Hornets
- Amen Thompson - Houston Rockets
- Ausar Thompson - Detroit Pistons
- Anthony Black - Orlando Magic
- Kobe Brown - LA Clippers
- Bilal Coulibaly - Washington Wizards
- Keyonte George - Utah Jazz
- Jordan Hawkins - New Orleans Pelicans
- Dereck Lively II - Dallas Mavericks
- Olivier-Maxence Prosper - Dallas Mavericks
- Julian Strawther - Denver Nuggets
- Cason Wallace - OKC Thunder