As a semi-retired sneaker head, I tend to keep tabs on whats new, what’s poppin’ in most circles as it pertains to sneaker culture. Over the last 7 years, I’ve probably spent closer to $6000 on sneakers,shoes, and cleats. As I’ve grown my taste has turned from more sneakers to more dress shoes, mainly due to kicks looking a little more out of place in a workroom or conference. But when it comes to throwbacks, retro’s, OG’s, whatever you may call them, I always try to keep at least a pair in my rotation.
Whether they are re-released or released for the first time, retro sneakers hold so much more significance than any other shoe. Whatever Reggie wore in 95? I want those. What about MJ’s 66 in Boston? Want those, too. The desire for history creates more demand that the sneaker itself. Some sneakerheads will buy shoes just because they may have been there when it happened, and it becomes a special memento for some people.
To be clear–and as any other person with a brain has stated–Lebron James is the most dominant player in the game today. Aside from his offensive prowess and versatility, he had a stretch of 250+ minutes without a foul. His discipline, detailed game, and desire to be the all-around most efficient player are unmatched. Like Jordan, he has worked to become a force, and a leader.
First comparison in order: the 1st release versus first title. Michael Jordan and Nike debuted the Air Jordan 1 in 1985, and he won his first title in 1991, with the Air Jordan 6. Now, the Retro 6’s are highly coveted, especially after the illustrious career of the great one. Lebron came into the league in 2003, and started rocking the Zoom generation sneaker. Soon after, he facilitated the Lebron Soldier sneaker, a secondary signature. When he won that first title, just a year ago, he was wearing the Lebron 9’s. Which shoe combo you got? Jordan 1/Jordan 6, or Zoom Generation/Lebron 9? Jordan wins.
The problem with comparing these two sneaker icons is that the trend of one has been disrespected by the other. Retro Jordan’s have always been known to have an unmistakeable first color way–Red,white, and black– and then several other colorways were released afterwards. Lebron, due to his early career trade to the head, hasn’t created a signature colorway that comes out with every shoe. If you look through all of the Lebron 9’s and 10’s, there are more colorways than that of the OG Jordan’s. This trend of colorful colorways comes with the trend of high-fashion, bright colors, and flair. Jordan’s flair was assessed with with his iconic shoe game. You never saw Jordan with a pair of “What-the MJ’s” Nike’s played with like Lebron did early in playoffs. Although incredible, this discredits the overall value of the Lebron shoe game.
So who ya got? Through 9-10 years of careers and sneakers, Lebron loses a close match-up off the court versus the G.O.A.T. But come after that, it could be a much different game in 2020.