One day after helping the Warriors exact revenge over the Bucks at Oracle Arena by pouring in 27 points in a 121-112 win, Golden State shooting guard Klay Thompson stands on a makeshift basketball court in the Presidio of San Francisco. Behind him sits a picturesque view of the Golden Gate Bridge, and in front of him sit media members, friends and family. Thompson is here to introduce the world to his first-ever signature sneaker, the ANTA KT1.
For the first time in the Chinese sneaker giant’s history, a handful of US retailers will have it in stock (specifically, six Champs Sports locations in the Bay Area). With a herringbone pattern traction, fuse upper, true sizing and a reasonable $100 price tag, the KT1 is going to be a hit with fans of the Splash Bros.
Big thanks to our friends at ANTA for inviting us out to the Bay to learn more about the sneaker. Scroll through the photos above to see more from the KT1 launch event, and read our brief 1-on-1 Q+A with Klay below:
SLAM: What’s one thing we need to know about the KT1?
Klay Thompson: One thing you want to know? Put it on, and you’re going to shoot the ball well. (Laughs) Nah, not really. But one thing I love is the logo. It’s got my number, my initials, and it’s very subtle. A lot of people look at the logo and just think it’s a K, but no, there’s a T and my number. I thought they did a great job with the logo.
SLAM: Do you feel like you have more international marketing opportunities being with a Chinese brand?
KT: A lot of brands are going global, they know how big the market is in China, so everyone’s trying to get in there, because there are so many great basketball fans over there. There are a lot of guys with ANTA and Peak and Li-Ning, so Chinese footwear is definitely getting big in the NBA. There’s just so much opportunity. My team has responded well, they think it looks good and they’re proud of me for getting a signature shoe. Not a lot of guys get to have that in their career.
SLAM: Any teammates giving you a bad time about your logo or anything?
KT: Oh yeah, of course. That’s what teammates do. They all poke fun and stuff. That’s just being around the guys.
SLAM: But that’s their way of saying congrats, right?
KT: Yeah, exactly. There’s a reason you get a signature shoe, you’re doing something right. So I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing, and it’s going to be a great partnership for years to come.
SLAM: What are you most excited about next with ANTA?
KT: New colorways, we’ve only got three right now but there are more great ones coming. And then, what’s the KT2 going to look like? We’ve already started working on it now, which is crazy. A lot of thought and creativity goes into this, so just to see how hard they work motivates me to make them proud and play well.
Photos via ANTA