How to be a Sneakerhead, According to DeMar DeRozan’s Instagram

  • Nike Kobe 9 EM
    Kobes

    If there’s one thing we know about DeRozan’s sneaker closet, it’s that he has lots and lots and lots… and lots of Kobes. The 6-7 swingman played almost exclusively in Kobes up until the 2012-13 season. In his final game last year, a Game 7 loss to Brooklyn, DeRozan debuted the “Laser Crimson” Nike Kobe 9 EM, and while a novice sneakerhead can’t hope to draw that level of interest, you can still emulate swag.

    Champs Sports has the hookup, so make sure you’re stacking racks on racks of Kobe Bryant‘s signature line. In the summer, this is a great place to start.

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  • Amir Johnson, DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry
    Versatility

    You can’t always be out pounding the pavement with some fly sneakers. If you’re going out at night, unless you want to see those new kicks get scuffed up, dirty, or altogether destroyed, you have to have a plan B. Same thing for Sundays — you have to dress for the part.

    Get yourself some grown man gear, a suit, a tie, and some nice wingtips. You might be laughing, but make sure to remember this: the Air Jordan 2012 was inspired by wingtips, and the godfather of people like DeMar, Michael Jordan, loved to get fresh. You should to.

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  • Air Jordan 8
    Sneaker Selfies

    Almost every big OG shoe collector that I know says the same thing whenever I talk to them about what’s changed over the last few years in the culture. It’s not the lines. It’s not the demand. It’s not the prices. All of that has evolved with the times, yes, but one thing in particular has transformed the culture: Instagram.

    If you’re not on the ‘gram styling with your kick game proper, then you might as well give it up. Just look at DeMar. He knows what’s up. Perfect your sneaker selfie and watch the likes pile up.

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  • DeMar DeRozan
    Roll Deep

    We don’t condone the headgear, but everything else here is rock solid.

    If you’re out, the easiest way to up the swagger is to roll deep. Have your whole crew stunting and before you know it, you’ll feel unstoppable. Collecting sneakers, for most, is all about the competition anyway, and there’s nothing like a little friendly rivalry between friends. You’re trying to one-up what everyone else has and that includes your boys. It actually probably applies to your boys more than anyone else.

    If you’re going to take the team approach, make sure you have an amply supply of Jordans. Just in this picture alone, we’re seeing a number of noteworthy classics — the Bred VI and the Black/Cement III — and the IX for DeRozan.

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  • Air Jordan I
    Respect History

    DeRozan was a massive Penny Hardaway fan growing up, and always paid attention to whatever the Orlando superstar had on his feet. He also says his sneaker obsession started with the Concord XI, one of the all-time best basketball shoes. So it’s easy to see DeRozan knows his sole history. You should too, else you want to be branded a hypebeast or a poser.

    Yeah, you’ll probably get the most likes on the ‘gram by posting whatever hot new release you picked up that weekend, but the way to get major points from the sneaker culture is to go beyond and connect with that history. Luckily for you, retros are coming faster and faster these days.

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  • DeMar DeRozan
    Wear Your Kicks On-Court

    YES! I don’t have much more to add on this one other than that. YES! Wear your basketball sneakers to play basketball in. Don’t let them collect too much dust sitting in your closet.

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  • DeMar DeRozan
    Try Something New

    My boy collect sneakers.

    I take that back. My boy collects Jordans. As crazy as his collection is, here’s the thing: you can’t limit yourself. Just like anything else, you have to branch out and try new things. If you grew up wearing LeBrons because the new Cavalier was your favorite player, then try the D-Rose line. If you only mess with high-end fashion brands, starting wearing some New Balance. Or if you’re like DeRozan, go out with some navy blue Chuck Taylors. It doesn’t get more classic than that. But if you’re on the West Coast, you probably already knew that, right?

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  • DeMar DeRozan, Kevin Durant
    Always Stay Fresh

    As they say, you never know who’s watching. You never know when your spot will be challenged. As a sneakerhead, you can’t be going out before putting some thought behind your gear. That starts with the sneakers. If you’re DeRozan, you can’t even hit summer league unless you have on a fresh pair of kicks. In fact, the Drew League is the epicenter for summer sneakers. The Jordan XIV is just enough to get by.

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  • Nike Kobe 9 EM
  • Amir Johnson, DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry
  • Air Jordan 8
  • DeMar DeRozan
  • Air Jordan I
  • DeMar DeRozan
  • DeMar DeRozan
  • DeMar DeRozan, Kevin Durant

There’s a revolution going on in Toronto and it has nothing to do with the Raptors returning to the playoffs this spring. It has everything to do with Toronto’s unofficial title as the NBA’s sneaker capital. Using their inherent colorway advantage — they can get away with virtually any pair of OG Jordans — the Raptors vaulted to the sneaker pinnacle over the last few years behind names like Amir Johnson, Kyle Lowry, and DeMar DeRozan, then lapped the competition by trading for shoe fiend, Rudy Gay. Gay might be gone now, but like a well-oiled machine, the squad keeps plugging new faces into the holes.

At the center of the storm is the team’s lone All-Star, DeRozan. Mr. Compton turned 25 years old today, and to celebrate, we’re going to take you to school. Still wondering how to become a sneakerhead? Let DeMar show you what you need.

Follow Sean on Twitter at @seanesweeney