Here’s Why the Air Jordan XX9 Is the Perfect Sneaker for Russell Westbrook

  • Russell Westbrook
    OKC colorways

    The Thunder’s white, blue, and orange digs aren’t exactly black and red. In 2014, that’s a good thing. I can’t tell you how many black/red sneakers I have in my closet. I’d love to cop something else.

    The XX9, with its potential for white or blue-based colorways with that massive Jumpman, is just ripe for something smooth. Westbrook rocked some crazy elephant print XX9s during the playoffs last year. I can’t wait to see what he does this time — how is he going to top these?

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  • Air Jordan XX8
    History

    Westbrook’s INCREDIBLE player exclusive “Why Not?” Air Jordan XX8s literally shut the game down when they showed up last February. You see, JB reiterated over and over again during the XX8 launch that the open upper was there because it offered them creative customization options that most shoes didn’t have. We saw that fully with the way they included Russ’ trademark life motto “Why Not?” across the face of the shoe.

    The amazing part was Westbrook had a few more tricks up his sleeve. If you thought the XX8 was wild, wait until you see what the broadie does with this year’s shoe.

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  • Identical style

    The last few renditions of the Jordan line have stressed one thing in particular: flight. And if we know anything about Westbrook it’s that the dude can straight fly. That’s his game. That’s his trademark, outside of wild stylings. The shoe and player just fit each other and there’s probably no player in the NBA who exhibits the same athletic and mental qualities that Michael Jordan did than Westbrook.

    All of that merges together in Jordan’s marketing and commercials, where they never, ever let us down. Speaking of which…

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  • Air Jordan XX9
    Sneaker tech

    As mentioned previously, this shoe is designed to help players take flight. That’s a massive part of Westbrook’s game. Between the upgraded Flight Plate, a tendril that connects the two plates of the midsole, and the new woven upper, this shoe is a leap forward. Westbrook’s aggression and violent style of play — all those drives and dunks and stop-n-gos and pull-up jumpers — will put this shoe to the ultimate test in the same ways that Jordan used to do.

    Outside of Kobe, Westbrook is the closest thing we have to Jordan in the league. It’s important to him and to all of us (since we’re the ones being entertained) that he have the same attributes the GOAT did in his shoes.

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  • Russell Westbrook
    Because he's the brodie

    Westbrook has his own style and isn’t afraid of flaunting it. Whereas some NBA players follow trends — okay, pretty much all of them do — Westbrook sets them. He almost single-handily turned postgame NBA pressers into opportunities to stunt with his outrageous outfits.

    Some people might think he looks dumb, but that’s a unique mindset. Eventually what looks or sounds weird turns into pop culture. Seriously, look at what you’re wearing right now. There’s a decent chance Westbrook influenced some of it, whether it’s the gradient print on your shirt, the skinny jeans, or the tight leggings. He’s the brodie.

    The XX9 will make him the most stylish player on the court, too.

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  • Russell Westbrook
  • Air Jordan XX8
  • Russell Westbrook
  • Air Jordan XX9
  • Russell Westbrook

Somebody once told Russell Westbrook he was a fashion icon, and after a certain amount of time he started to believe it. He started making crazy fashion statements, wearing wild shades, hanging out at Fashion Week, and chilling with world-renowned designers. By then it wasn’t just Westbrook who believed it. Everyone started to believe it.

Which is why is makes perfect sense that the brodie is the kingpin of the Jordan Brand‘s dynamic Air Jordan XX9. Yes, it’s a shoe that sports new technology with the first-ever performance woven upper and an evolving Flight Plate. But more importantly, it’s merging the gap between high fashion and the hardwood. The XX8 was the first step but went almost too far in the other direction, creating a flap that had no effect on performance whatsoever and zipped up over the shin. Sometimes the first forays into a new field don’t connect. The second time, however? You work out the kinks.

This year’s XX9 is the product of that. It’s awesome aesthetics — the massive Jumpman logo across the naked upper — not only gives the shoe an ability to work on the floor but also off it. You can literally wear ANYTHING with the XX9 and it’s going to feel like high-end fashion. It’s almost like they designed the sneaker for Mr. Why Not? himself.

Tomorrow, the latest XX9 colorway — “Riverwalk” — will be dropping at Champs Sports. Get yourself ready for one of the season’s best releases by seeing the connection between Russ West and the XX9. Here’s Why the Air Jordan XX9 Is the Perfect Sneaker for Russell Westbrook.

Follow Sean on Twitter at @seanesweeney