FASHION: Dwayne Wade Inks New Sneaker Deal With Li-Ning

by Greg Black


Basketball season is looming on the horizon. The NBA 2012-13 season tips off on Tuesday, October 30th with the Miami Heat facing the Boston Celtics in a rematch of the 2011-12 Eastern Conference Final. Who’s excited!? For the moment while we anticipate the new season, let’s take a moment to realize that there has been a lot of offseason moves made. There are players on new teams, there are teams in new cities and then there’s D. Wade who signed a sneaker deal with Olympic gold medalist Li-Ning and unveiled his new “Way of Wade” sneaker.

”I have certain goals that I want to reach and I felt that I had to leave to reach those. So I’m doing things a little differently. That’s how I am, in a sense. I’m not necessarily a status-quo type guy.” – Dwayne Wade

Wade’s first sneaker deal came with Converse, which was then brought out by Nike. Shortly after he left Converse for Jordan Brand, which was also owned by Nike. Wade spent 9 years with the brand until a few weeks ago. The new deal is still in the works and the debut of the sneaker in US retail stores is slated for 2013. The $120 price tag reaches out to the middle-class of the US and China where the sneaker is projected to be a major success.

Seeing all the great things China has going for them with the NBA finding new found interest in going global, coupled with the stranglehold Nike has on basketball in the US, now add that to Wade’s “non status-quo” mentality and we feel the new deal looks like a great move for Wade. It’s a move that can open a lot of doors for other athletes, sneaker brands and the game itself.

  • The Company Man

    If I’m the Miami Heat, I’m either scared shitless or plotting on the D Wade exit strategy. This is super risky. Bill Simmons wrote a great piece (or maybe it was in his book) on the ramifications of Grant Hill’s decision to sign with FILA instead of NIKE entering his rookie season. If there’s one thing that NIKE will always kill everyone on, it’s sneaker technology. They know how to make sneakers that keep players from getting injured more often. Hill squandered his athletic prime on the sidelines riddled with injuries while his co-Rookie Of The Year, Jason Kidd spent his prime largely injury free (and rocked NIKEs). In the mid-90s, FILA made fly shoes with craptastic ankle support. NIKE – through the Jordan – was taking sneaker technology to places unknown. Wade’s injury prone already…and he’s rocked Converse and Brand Jordans. Now he’s rocking Ni-I-Design-Fugly-Looking-Kicks-Ning??? They should call these the “Unprovens.”

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