Friday, July 17th, 2009 at 4:52 pm  |  31 responses

Jump Man

Dwyane Wade’s lateral but not-so-lateral move.

Wade 4

by Chris O’Leary

From the first time he stepped onto a NBA court, Dwyane Wade has never been short of highlight-reel moves.

The crossover he’s pulled today, shaking Converse to fly with Jordan Brand, is no different. While JB has big stars in Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul, Wade—who could battle it out with LeBron and Kobe for the second-biggest star in the League—could come in and take the reigns of the brand. As big as Melo and CP3 are in basketball, Wade is the biggest name the brand has had since Jordan himself stumbled through his last two seasons in Washington.

After years of Wade hamming it up with Charles Barkley for T-Mobile ads, casual fans have come to love DWade (for a shot to your ego, ask your girlfriend what she thinks of him). He’s got the right kind of game, the charisma and the stats to build a serious following with a company that’s been waiting for a mega-star in their stable to fit this billing and blow up.

While it’s technically a lateral move, this is as big a gain for Jordan Brand as it is a loss for Converse. Wade was their only significant signee. Elton Brand and Kirk Hinrich don’t exactly make for a full-on line of shoes and t-shirts, do they?

And at the same time, you can’t really blame Wade for making the move. The aesthetic appeal of Wade’s signature shoes has declined considerably over the last two years, culminating in the atrocity that was the Wade 4. Wade stopped wearing the shoe midway through last season, going back to the original kick the company made for him in ’05–06, the Wade 1.

Looking ahead, the possibilities are endless for Wade and Jordan. The Chicago ties, the similarities that Wade has to MJ’s game (I keep thinking of an old Upper Deck ad with a little kid imitating Mike’s moves in a side-by-side shot) and Wade’s marketability all add up to a bright future for the newly-formed duo.

If you thought Eddie Jones had hot PE’s in his Miami days, prepare yourself. The Wade era could prove to be Jordan’s reincarnation. Brand-wise, I mean.

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  • Miggy

    about time! lol cant wait to see his first signature sneaker

  • rob stewart

    Those converse joints are terrible. When A.I. retires I wonder who is going to be Reeboks guy?

  • http://myspace.com/DATBOIFABIO fabio

    cant wait to see what in the world wade’s J’s are going to be like!

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Rob, I think Reebok is gonna retire from basketball with him.

  • http://slamonline.com Tzvi Twersky

    Chris, Don’t forger Jameer Nelson. COnverse still has him.

  • cp

    cant wait to see his signatures from jb but it sucks cuz i got all of his models by converse

  • http://slamonline.com Chris O’Leary

    I thought I had Nelson in there. I’ll blame it on a copy-paste disaster. I miss their gel shoes.

  • http://twitter.com/NotebookNick thesubwayconnection

    I think this is a solid move. Converse, say hello to “lifestyle” . . .

  • Prison Mike

    At least the shoes will be red/black/white like they are supposed to be.

  • BullySixChicago

    Changing shoe brands wanting to be like Mike are their any hidden secrets in that move? Wade has stated that he grew up on the south side of chicago wanting to be like mj and play for the Bulls to emjoyhe success that mj had as well as winning, well with fa he has a chance to just that but 91.5 is what the Bulls can give him over 5 years while the Heat can give him 132 mil over 6 thats a lot of change. So why the Bulls get creative sign him for 2 years and then up his salary to what a star of his status should be paid

  • Marco

    A good move for both, Jordan Brand and DWade…I always hate to see it when great players wear terrible shoes, which was definitely the case with Wade and Converse. The only one which was okay was the first one, all the others were garbage! A.I. and Reebok is the same. The Question was the bomb and then they fell off!…I really can’t understand how all this could happen, with all these people in companies like this, getting paid so much money for market research and for designing those shoes! And they come up with garbage like that!? With shoes like that Converse and Reebok are shoveling their own graves in the basketball shoe game! Not to mention that all the companies have fallen off. Lebron’s shoes suck big time! Most of Melo’s shoes suck (unfortunately) except for the 1.5 and the 5.5! CP3′s shoes suck even more. Can’t really remember when Adidas has thrown something nice on the market…I mean there are highlights among the new shoes, like the Hyperdunks or KB IV’s for example…Something has to happen or all the companies should start to issue retros over and over again…Better than all that new stuff… Adidas Equipment Elevation, Adidas Promodel (2000 Version), Nike Maestro, Nike Air Flight LWP G.O. (I seriously don’t understand why those haven’t been issued again, because they’ve been some of the best bball shoes I’ve ever worn.)

  • http://groups.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=groups.groupProfile&groupID=104091021&Mytoken=DDF795E1-BAA9-4AA4-A658D26EF5D70607132654176 clapzilla

    Wade Was Made For Jordan Commercials. There’s No Chance The Melo/Paul/Wade Trio Doesn’t Kill The Competition.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Uh, LeBron and Kobe have good ol Nike Basketball in pretty good hands, Clap. And don’t sleep on D Rose making noise for adidas.

  • Logan

    This should be exciting but tough for converse. Jordan Brand needed someone like Wade and with Melo stepping his game up they will seriously represent next year. I have never been a fan of lebron’s shoes…personally one of the best shoes I have worn and played in over the last 5 years are the Kobe II….

  • http://slamonline.com Negetivekreep

    Is it just me, or do the Wade-4′s look like the perfect kicks for shooting practice?

    Wade4′s check. Ear-muffs check. Glock check.

  • http://www.broy7.com nate the great


  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Should have stayed and made a name for himself with converse. I don’t like him going to JB. If wade would have continued to play well his covverse shoes would have sold. Instead he went with the evil empire.

  • Boston Baller

    Where are my canvas Cons???? I actually do wear a pair every so often when I play just to take myself back plus the young bloods in the gym get a kick out of it as I’m putting it on them for 1 or 2 games then I’m done) before I start up practice.

    Yes, James’ kicks are too busy and NO, Wades kicks would not have started selling as he continued to improve. If a sneaker sucks it just sucks.

  • don

    gawd. i liked the wade 2.0′s….will i ever see them again? i’d like to buy one before nike pulls the shoe stocks from the market.

  • http://slamonline.com Chris O’Leary

    don, my guess is that you’ll see the Wades again one day with a different name. Other companies do it all the time. No sense in letting a great shoe sit idle just because your signee has gone elsewhere.

  • jay

    great news…jb better not mess this up. the melo line has really fallin off. his shoe next year looks like garbage..the cp3 line looks promising…i hope the wade line is off the charts. at this point and after the jordan 2k9 sitting and collecting dust on fl and fa shelves the new wade jb shoe should be top dawg…real talk!!!

  • Matt.Gill

    Have Converse actually made an appealing/functional shoe since the Weapon really? Run n slam anyone??? Back to canvas/denim/pigskin/annaconda skin/polkadot etc etc etc all stars and re hashes of Dr J’s then Cons!
    Wade is the closest thing to early nasty MJ all over the lane with reckless abandon driving, so he deserves some decent sneaks. Hopefully JB will be able to help with this, the colourways will be dope but please beware the ‘appaling shoe with shiny silver jumpman prominently on the side and some patent’ syndrome that the folks of JB have fallen into lately!

  • http://thesportsdiaryonline.blogspot.com Roy

    In retrospect, I remember Vince Carter dumping Puma years ago just so he could wear Nikes. At least, Wade left Converse in good terms. :)

  • Andrew

    Roy – as well that VC did dump Puma… those things were horrible, Puma hasn’t made a decent pair of performance footwear outside of Usain Bolt’s running spikes since the 50s.

  • ab_40

    reebok is owned by adidas so AI won’t be a problem.

    black, red and white shoes. now just hope he doesnt get injured again

  • http://thesportsdiaryonline.blogspot.com Roy

    @ Andrew: I agree. :D

  • Wdavid

    It really makes no sense that Converse has a “performance” basketball shoe line anyway. Magic and The Doctor wouldn’t have rolled in Cons if they had Niks back in the day.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    Reebok doesnt need basketball. With the ‘Classic’ model + ‘The Pump’ model + the Atmos and Alife collabos, they will still make some money..

  • Rich

    Quality-wise, Wade + Jordan Brand = no guarantee of anything. Given that Nike has been going all-out with the sleek and featherweight, guard-friendly shoes of late, why are CP3′s Jordan kicks so clunky and overdeveloped? Which of Carmelo’s shoes ever had an iconic silhouette? Sure, D-Wade’s made a step (or two) upwards with this move, but Jordan’s gonna have to do better than they have with their other marquee players.

  • amir

    i just wish wade goodluck…for a converse guy like me, who supports the brand through thick or thin, i just hope that the shoe brand detaches itself from nike and start to chart its own. converse has the history and it has still a future…nike may be a leviathan, but converse can still compete…its when the worst things happen where one should not give up and in fact strive to pursue successsssssss

  • tony

    does anyone here know that nike now owns cons