The NBA’s Sneakerheads to Watch on Christmas Day

  • adidas


    John Wall, Derrick Rose

    Here’s one Christmas collection we already know about. From adidas, the “Bad Dreams” collection will include new holiday colorways of the D Rose 5 Boost, the J Wall 1, the Crazylight Boost, and the Crazy 2. Wall and Rose will both be front and center for the NBA and adidas, so I suspect these are going to look great on the court. All four of these sneakers will glow in the dark.

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  • Kyrie Irving


    Kyrie Irving

    Irving isn’t typically considered one of the league’s biggest sneakerheads, but Nike did recently unveil his first ever signature sneaker and it is a doozy.

    With angles, jagged patterns, and architectural designs along the wrapped traction near the toe and heel counter of this shoe, Irving and Nike have provided plenty of customization options. He already has one colorway — “Dream” — that is inspired by the way he used to dream as a kid of waking up and playing on Christmas, so I really can’t wait to see what he comes with on the big day.

    Over the last few years, he’s consistently killed it with HyperDunk and HyperRev PEs. He’s about to take the next step with his own sig.

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  • Nick Young

    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Nick Young

    Nick Young doesn’t have as much experience playing on Christmas as some of the league’s more popular names, but man, this dude is consistently bringing out the gems. He’s one of the league’s best when it comes to rocking old-school classics, and earlier this year shocked everyone by wearing a pair of 16-year-old “Chutney” Air Jordan XIII lows. That’s swag. He is absolutely someone you must watch when the Lakers travel to Chicago simply because we literally have no idea what he’ll wear.

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  • Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Draymond Green

    I used to say Green was one of the league’s most underrated sneakerheads. Now that he’s starting over Andre Iguodala for Golden State and putting in work for the NBA’s best team, I can add that he’s also one of the game’s most underrated players, too. Notable for wearing Nikes and Jordans, last year Green played on this holiday in the Nike Zoom Soldier VII with a holiday-themed colorway and Santa stitched onto the tongue.

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  • Dwyane Wade

    Bobby Metelus/Getty Images

    Dwyane Wade

    Wade’s eccentric colorways under his Li-Ning signature line can be hit or miss, but along the same lines as Russell Westbrook, at least he never fails to go all out. Wade went above and beyond last year, though, rocking a pair of his Way of Wade 2.0s with a two-toned, lime and forest green upper with polka dots on it. Absurd. He’ll be going hard this year again, as always.

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  • Air Jordan XX8

    Jordan Brand

    Russell Westbrook

    So let’s go back in time to look at Westbrook’s last two years on Christmas. In 2012, he pulled out these sky blue Air Jordan XX8s, which absolutely killed it with OKC in all-blue uniforms in Miami. Then last year, Russ came with a PE Air Jordan X, white-based with Thunder accents. Combined with some striped socks, his look was easily top five in the game last year. For a self-professed fashion icon, I’m expecting nothing less this year.

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  • Jordan CP3.VII

    Jordan Brand

    Chris Paul

    CP3 is another man who’s sneaker game gets routinely overlooked. His signature kicks have been incredible performers on the court for years but because they aren’t “Air Jordans” and because he isn’t a part of the NBA’s holy trinity of ‘Bron, KD, and Kobe, no one seems to pay attention. But Paul will come correct as always. Last year he rocked a pair of his CP3.VII signature kicks, outfitted with multiple tones of green and orange accenting.

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  • Iman Shumpert

    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Iman Shumpert

    Last year, Shump went to work in the adidas Crazy 8 “Nightmare Before Christmas,” a shoe that was both purple AND could glow in the dark. It distinctively stuck out among the legions of players who stayed in the Christmas red and green-colored lane. Shumpert, as an adidas player, will be different no matter what but with his unique style, I have a feeling he’ll bring out something crazy this year. New York plays in the day’s first game, so leave it up to him to wake everybody up.

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  • Under Armour Anatomix Spawn

    Under Armour

    Stephen Curry

    Suddenly an NBA MVP candidate after Golden State’s blazing start to the season, Curry is the main man for Under Armour and figures to come with the best the brand has to offer during the final game of the NBA’s Christmas Day schedule. Last year saw Steph shut it down with this sick “Gremlin” colorway of the Anatomix Spawn basketball shoe AFTER he rocked a brown pair during the pregame, complete with a fur-lined interior and laser perforations. No doubt he’ll look to top that lineup this year.

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  • Nike KD7, Nike Kobe 9, Nike LeBron 12


    LeBron, KD, Kobe

    I’m just going to put all three of these guys together for not only the simple reason that Nike is lacing all three of them with holiday-themed versions of their latest signature sneakers but because we will SEE the shoes before the actual games. (In fact, we already have.) As dope as they are — I’m especially intrigued by this year’s KD7 and that incredible high-top Kobe 9 — it takes some of the surprise away from it if we already know beforehand.

    With that being said, they’ll obviously kill it. I haven’t even seen them on feet yet and I’m already salivating.

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  • adidas "Bad Dreams" collection
  • Kyrie Irving
  • Nick Young
  • Dwyane Wade
  • Air Jordan XX8
  • Jordan CP3.VII
  • Iman Shumpert
  • Under Armour Anatomix Spawn
  • Nike KD7, Nike Kobe 9, Nike LeBron 12

If you’re a sneakerhead, there’s no better day to watch the NBA than on Christmas. All of the best players are playing and all of the best are bringing with them the heat from their closets. Whether it’s LeBron James, Kevin Durant, or Kobe Bryant getting laced with holiday-specific colorways on their new shoes, or a bench player unleashing some heat that no one saw coming, this is it. This is the ultimate showcase.

Over the last five years, just as the sneaker culture has exploded, so too has the obsession everyone associated with the league has around these games. As recently as 2008, there were only three games scheduled. Now? In 2014, there are five, featuring title contenders like San Antonio, Cleveland, Chicago, Golden State, the Clippers, and Oklahoma City. We all know Nike’s top athletes will get laced with some nice holiday themes in their signature kicks, but some of the league’s biggest sneakerheads, the guys you might have to pay close attention to, also figure to debut some gems on the hardwood. Back in 2011, Monta Ellis wore a pair of custom white-and-red Air Jordan VIIIs while with Golden State. The following year, Nate Robinson went hard with the retro “Bred” Air Jordan XII. And last year, Jason Terry unleashed a killer black-white combo with the Reebok Kamikaze II, complete with some zebra-styled socks.

Get yourself geared up for this year’s marquee matchups by making sure you’re primed. You need to know what to look for. Here are The NBA’s Sneakerheads to Watch on Christmas Day.

Follow Sean on Twitter at @seanesweeney

image via Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images