NBA Kicks of the Week: LeBron James pays homage to Deion Sanders

ByKalan Hooks ESPN logo
Sunday, April 14, 2024

Players brought flashy and vintage on-court kicks to Week 25 in the NBA.

In what might have seemed like a preview of the play-In tournament, the Los Angeles Lakers took on the Golden State Warriors for the last time in the regular season. At 39 years old, LeBron James doesn't let his game tarnish. Though the Lakers fell to Golden State 134-120, James still filled the stat sheet with 33 points, 11 assists and 7 rebounds -- with style.

He didn't give only himself flowers in his LeBron 21, which represents his 21st season in the association and also pays homage to Deion "Primetime" Sanders. Inspired by the Nike Air DT Max '96 -- a shoe that Sanders wore in his playing days -- the LeBron 21 was first worn by James in the 2024 NBA All-Star Game. Nike is said to be re-releasing the Air DT Max this summer.

Here are the best sneakers worn in Week 25.

Mike Conley, Minnesota Timberwolves

Conley has always been a crafty and quick guard. As with most guards, footwork matters. For Conley, 36, footwork also meant sporting one of the flashiest sneakers on the floor. In Minnesota's 130-121 win over the Washington Wizards, Conley wore an all-gold colorway of the Air Jordan 38 Low as he scored 15 points -- all of which came from five 3-pointers.

Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns

When Booker is on a fast break with a defender trailing, fans are probably yelling, "Run Devin, run" at their television screens before he finishes at the rim. Against the LA Clippers on Wednesday, Booker wore a colorway of his signature Nike Book 1s inspired by the 1994 film "Forrest Gump" and the 1972 Cortez running shoe. Nike founder Bill Bowerman designed the original Nike Cortez shoe.

The Cortez shoe appeared in the movie when Gump was given a pair of running shoes by his first childhood friend, Jenny Curran. She described the shoe as "just for running."

Booker did just that against the Clippers. He scored 37 points in the Suns' 124-108 win.

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

The Tatum 2 sneaker might be the epitome of storytelling through footwear. The latest colorway of Tatum's signature sneaker pays tribute to Deadstock Coffee, a sneaker-themed coffee shop in Portland, Oregon. The shop was founded in 2016 by Ian Williams, who has a deep passion for sneakers.

Tatum dropped 22 points in Boston's 104-91 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, where the Celtics became the first team to shoot zero free throws in a contest.

Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

Similar to Tatum's sneakers, Curry's shoes tell stories, too. But in this instance, Curry also wrote the story himself.

His latest version of the Curry 4 Flotro is inspired by his children's book, "I Am Extraordinary," which was released in March.

The book is about a girl named Zoe who has hearing loss and dreams of playing for her school's soccer team. Along her journey, Zoe learns what it means to be extraordinary in her own way.

Curry was extraordinary in his way while wearing the shoes against the Lakers, tallying 23 points and seven rebounds in Golden State's 134-120 win. The Warriors sank 26 treys, six of which came from Curry, who didn't miss a shot from behind the arc.

Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves

After dropping 51 points against the Wizards on Tuesday, Edwards added more style to his on-court appearance. On Friday, the 22-year-old debuted a new colorway of his signature Adidas AE 1s against the Atlanta Hawks.

Although it looks like it could be an All-Star sneaker, it's truly exclusive.

The 3Stripes Select Basketball Adidas AE 1 PE colorway is a player-exclusive shoe for the Adidas 3SSB Circuit, an elite grassroots shoe basketball circuit for elite high school AAU programs.

In the new colorway, Edwards scored 14 points with 4 rebounds and 4 assists in the Timberwolves' 109-106 win against the Hawks.