“I have the impression that after basketball, he wants to be the least recognizable person in the world”. As his teammate Vlatko Cancar pointed out, Nikola Jokic is a unique player in the NBA landscape, with a very specific game and also a singular personality, rather discreet vis-à-vis the light he generates through his top flight performance.
As such, Nikola Jokic stood out by winning two titles of MVP of the season without having benefited from a signature shoe while Giannis Antetokounmpo already had a collection in his name when he won his two. You have to go back 15 years to find an MVP of the season who doesn’t have his own signature shoe. It was in 2007, with Dirk Nowitzki.
When will there be “Air Jokers”?
Several reasons can explain this choice on the part of Nike not to bet on the Serb. First there is the profile of the player, who evolves at the pivotal position, which potentially restricts the target aimed at, where the backs/wingers can gather a larger audience. Looking closely, apart from Giannis Antetokounmpo, whose style is a bit like that of an exterior, there are very few “big men” with signature shoes.
“Maybe it’s because their game is more flashy,” Confirmed Zeke Nnaji. “I think that’s probably the only reason I can give. Yet you have a guy who is a double MVP in title, who will perhaps win a third. I mean, there’s nothing flashier than that.”
For example, the signature model of Joel Embiid designed by Under Armor is sold in relative anonymity, and this while the player has crushed everything in the NBA for several years. It is also the only current pivot to have a signature deal.
Mike Malone also recalled the example of Tim Duncan, who had two signature shoes in his name: the Air Max Duncan and the Air Max Duncan 2. Who remembers them?
“He just wasn’t sexy enough. Tim Duncan is a great player, but his shoes haven’t sold. Maybe that’s why Nike and Nikola are hesitant. Still, I think ‘Air Joker’ would look damn cool! »he slipped.
Alongside Nikola Jokic, Aaron Gordon has for his part entered into a partnership with “361°”, a “secondary” brand on the market which gives him this unique pleasure for an NBA player: having a pair in his name.
“It’s like all the hard work you’ve put in throughout your life is finally paying off and you’re being rewarded with a signature shoe, you know? It’s really awesome. You look down and find yourself in your shoes”he confided.
The Nike Zoom GT Jump do the trick
For the time being, Nikola Jokic must therefore be content with Nike Zoom GT Jump, some of which have been customized in “Player’s Edition”. The pair has been designed to meet the needs of the most imposing templates, with the emphasis on comfort and rebound, with a sole composed of a double Air Zoom unit combined with an external jump plate in lightweight Pebax . And the least we can say is that the Serb is performing with it!
“He has his badge. He has his logo. They are great. I don’t see anyone else with these shoes. I know Nike don’t do a lot of Players’ Editions”added Aaron Gordon.
Perhaps a third MVP title, or better, a first NBA title, will encourage Nike to change its tune? Nikola Jokic is still waiting for a sign from his equipment supplier to whom he has remained loyal since the start.
“I haven’t had a conversation about it. It would be good. But if that doesn’t happen, I’m not going to die. It’s like that “replied the main interested party, with his legendary phlegm.
How to read the stats? MJ = matches played; Min = Minutes; Shots = Shots made / Shots attempted; 3pts = 3-points / 3-points attempted; LF = free throws made / free throws attempted; Off = offensive rebound; Def= defensive rebound; Tot = Total bounces; Pd = assists; Fte: Personal fouls; Int = Intercepts; Bp = Lost bullets; Ct: Counters; Points = Points.