Most of the discussion surrounding Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook in the past year or two has been about the composition of his team. Following the much-criticized departure of Westbrook’s former teammate, NBA MVP Kevin Durant, all eyes have been on Westbrook as he is now, without a doubt, the team’s biggest superstar. Luckily for him, he is no stranger to displaying his talents, putting up more than 23 points per game last season.
Off the court, too, Westbrook is the subject of much scrutiny, mainly for his loud fashion sense. NBA pre-game outfits are often mocked for their eccentricity, but Westbrook’s are among the most talked-about and well-received. He always looks put-together but demonstrates his own unique fashion sense, and he carries that distinct aesthetic in his signature footwear.
Whereas most NBA players focus on their on-court signature basketball sneakers, Westbrook takes more seriously his off-court lifestyle signature sneakers. Last week, his second shoe of that kind, the Jordan Westbrook 0.2, was released, and it doesn’t disappoint. The debut colorway is a camouflage and black suede one, and the silhouette incorporates many pieces of Jordan history. The high-top design, with its understated paneling on the toebox and around the collar, as well as the classic midsole design, are strongly reminiscent of the Jordan I, Michael Jordan’s rookie season signature sneaker. The toebox also features vertical stitching that is similar to that seen on the Jordan VII.
Other parts of the shoe are all Westbrook. Most noticeable is his logo tag on the tongue which features geometric lettering of his initials. The ubiquitous Jordan logo, the jumpman, appears on the shoe, but in a very clever and subtle way. It is incorporated into the camouflage pattern on the back of the shoe, paying homage to the brand but blending it with Westbrook’s own expression of style in the use of patterns.
More colorways of the sneaker have already popped up, although there are no official scheduled releases yet. One notable example is what the community is calling the Westbrook 0.2 “Banned,” after a pair of sneakers that Jordan was fined for wearing during NBA games. Like those shoes, the 0.2 gets decked out in the ever-popular combination of red and black that sneaker enthusiasts obsess over.
Although he is by no means a new name in the NBA, it is good to see a relatively fresh release in the signature sneaker market which is dominated by technological advancement and companies trying to optimize performance, as opposed to style. As Westbrook has already proven himself in the game of basketball, it is only fair that he has this less constrained, more creative outlet as well.
Have you seen Westbrook’s other signature lifestyle sneaker, the Westbrook 0? Let me know here or on Twitter @BillChangNY