The 10 Most Hyped Sneakers From LeBron James, Kobe Bryant & Kevin Durant

  • Nike LeBron X Championship Pack
    Nike LeBron X Championship Pack

    Release date: 8/10/2013

    With two championships under his belt, the second Championship Pack proved to be pretty much incomparable to any other signature sneaker on release day ever. It featured a mid Elite, an in-game side for someone that wants to shine with glossy red uppers and celebrate his accomplishments with “2-time champion” on the left and “11-12, 12-13″ imprinted in the sock liner. It also had a low that sports his stylish, off-court side with floral uppers and a glowing sole. The $500 price tag didn’t deter anyone from lining up, bot’ing up and trying to get the golden ticket to cop.

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  • Nike KD IV
    Nike KD IV "Weatherman"

    Release date: 12/10/2013

    Could you imagine Kevin Durant‘s tall self in front of a green screen talking to everyday citizens about the 40 percent chance of rain and how the humidity will make it feel “this much” warmer? Well, considering that KD always wanted to be a weatherman, it isn’t too farfetched. Luckily, we got KD’s most highly-anticipated shoe ever with the “Weatherman” colorway of his fourth signature shoe, featuring iridescent “green screen” uppers, thermo-mapping of Durant’s actual footprint on the sole and Dopper Radar details that really make this colorway one his his most interesting. The limited numbers and sheer madness they caused solidified them as KD’s most hyped.

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  • Nike Zoom Kobe VI
    Nike Zoom Kobe VI "Grinch"

    Release date: 12/26/2010

    Seeing Kobe play on Christmas is always a treat, but when we were told he was going to rock a bright green, totally eye-catching version of his Kobe VI while playing the Big 3, people geeked out. Dubbed “The Grinch” due to obvious reasons, it put a new spin on Christmas Day kicks because it didn’t use the traditional, ho-hum evergreen, red, and white to pay homage; they were the in-your-face, “I’m trying to ruin your day, LeBron” colorway with limited numbers and massive significance. A hype-lover’s dream.

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  • Nike LeBron X
    Nike LeBron X "What The MVP"

    Release date: 5/31/2013

    Nike’s treatment of the “What The” movement has been questionable since it was introduced in 2008, but they did the thing with LeBron’s What The MVP” iteration. While they didn’t hold to the “What The” tradition of utilizing other colorways/details of past shoes, the new colors and details garnered just as much, if not more excitement. This amalgamation of a shoe is sure to gain anyone the attention they are certainly seeking while wearing, so of course the hype is real.

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  • Nike Kobe 9 Elite Low HTM
    Nike Kobe 9 Elite Low HTM

     Release date: 4/8/2014

    Has there been a more polarizing basketball shoe than the Kobe IX? The praise and pure hate the highs received when they were first introduced are unprecedented. But IX lovers and haters rejoiced when the Hiroshi, Tinker and Mark team put together quite possibly one of the most aesthetically-pleasing Kobes to date in the HTM Elite Lows. All three colorways released were incredible, utilizing the sneakerhead-adored Flyknit technology, but the heather white version with the gum soles had just about everyone calling their great grandfather to try to holler at his third cousin’s son to pick them up over in Europe.

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  • Nike Zoom KD VI Supreme
    Nike KD VI Supreme “DC Pre-Heat”

    Proof again; a unique colorway with a little backstory is hypebeast gold. Kevin Durant has been very vocal in showing love love for his hometown of Seat Pleasant, MD, and he’s taken that love for the DC area to Nike, making sure they pay homage on this KD VI colorway. A map of Maryland is plastered on the shoe underneath reflective stripes with a green midsole and translucent blue outsole; the crazy colorway had people salivating as soon as they saw them while resellers do the same now as they charge upwards of a G.

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  • Nike LeBron X
    Nike LeBron X "Cork"

    Release date: 2/23/2013

    The LeBron X “Cork” is one of those “basketball” shoes you’d be stupid to play actual basketball in. Yes, partially because the uppers are made of actual disintegratable cork, but also because the lifestyle sneaker, created to commemorate the champagne cork-popping of LeBron’s first championship, is one of the rarest and most hyped of released Nike LeBrons to date.

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  • Nike Zoom Kobe Prelude I
    Nike Zoom Kobe Prelude I

    Release date: 12/7/2013

    Kobe’s 1st signature Nike seems like ages ago. It was 2006, actually, the same year he scorched the Toronto Raptors for a record-setting 81 points. He was truly a deadly, venomous black mamba, so when Nike honored him with the Prelude Pack, showcasing new colorways of his first eight shoes, the Kobe Is had the most significance and were genuinely the most badass with snake scale-like uppers. They sold out instantaneously everywhere they dropped, online and off, with people still willing to pay close to a grand to hold history.

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  • Nike LeBron 8
    Nike LeBron 8 "South Beach"

    Release date: 11/19/2010

    While “The Decision” left a sour taste in the mouths of basketball fans all over, ‘Bron assuredly made up for it with his first South Beach-inspired colorway on his 8th signature sneaker. While the LeBron 8 alone was popular since its only the second in his line with a full 360 degree Air Max bubble, throwing in those Miami Vice-esque colors of teal and pink completely threw people for a loop that was obviously for the better.

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  • Nike Zoom Kobe VII System
    Nike Zoom Kobe VII System "Galaxy"

    Release date: 2/24/2012

    The galaxy-theme was all over the 2012 All-Star Weekend in Orlando. Based on NASA’s Cape Canaveral base, the Foamposites got the most hype, but the Kobe VII utilizing the colorway wasn’t too far behind. While the use of the cosmically bright colors really captures your attention, the glow in the dark sole keeps you there and the low-top cut sells you.

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  • Nike LeBron X Championship Pack
  • Nike KD IV "Weatherman"
  • Nike Zoom Kobe VI "Grinch"
  • Nike LeBron X "What The MVP"
  • Nike Kobe 9 Elite Low HTM
  • Nike Zoom KD VI Supreme "Pre-Heat"
  • Nike LeBron X "Cork"
  • Nike Zoom Kobe Prelude I
  • Nike LeBron 8 "South Beach"
  • Nike Zoom Kobe VII System "Galaxy"

Hype starts off as a subjective idea that turns into a objective solution. Sometimes, it’s completely warranted by the circumstances surrounding it. Limited quantities. Interesting backstory. Or, just sheer design or detail. There are few items that can drum up enough hype to have people camping out or hitting F5 until their fingers bleed. There are even fewer who can do it on a consistent basis.

Nike houses three of the best basketball players on the planet: LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Kobe Bryant. These three players have created quite the unique situation for the brand by giving them the key to creating some of the most innovative basketball sneakers on the planet, allowing Nike to test their limits on design, colorways and more because the influence each player has can attract hype in and of itself. But when you throw in a South Beach-inspired colorway, a backstory showing love to the player’s hometown, or the inclusion of the patented Flyknit technology, the hype begins and release day becomes a circus.

This weekend, all three stars have new shoes dropping on Saturday, which should make for a madhouse among sneakerheads. From the USA-themed Nike LeBron 11 Low to another colorway of the Kobe 9 EM Low to, last but not least, the launch of the KD 7, you better have your alarm clock set.

To get you prepared for this weekend, take a look back at 10 of the most hyped colorways from the game’s three biggest stars.

Follow me on Twitter at @NicholasGrant