LeBron James‘ favorite sneaker is the Nike Air Zoom Generation. Though it doesn’t carry his name, the AZG is the first signature of LeBron’s career and it’s the sneaker that was front and center for the first game of his career in Sacramento. Way back on October 29, 2003, while rocking the AZG, James scored 25 points, pulled down 6 rebounds, handed out 9 assists and took flight for the first of many fastbreak dunks.
Nearly 14 years later, the Swoosh re-released the AZG for the first time. An overjoyed LeBron announced the kicks’ return in a video and a day later, he wore them before his squad beat the Kings on January 13, 2017. James, and Nike, took that retro drop seriously (the 2017 AZG was available in very limited quantities).
The only player to actually lace them up in a game was Iman Shumpert. It was the defining moment of Shump’s impressive sneaker season. The Cavs’ entire roster wore Nike last season, but it was Shump who was deemed worthy enough to rock James’ first retro.
Shump, currently a sneaker free agent, spent the entire 2016-17 season in rare silhouettes. He brought out a few classic Nike Basketball sneakers, taking the court in the Air Bakin, the Penny IV, the Air More Uptempo and the Kyrie 2. He also brought out all types of Jordan Brand heat, ranging from old joints such as the “Doernbecher” IIIs and AJ20s, to recent drops like the “Maroon” VIs and “Champagne” VIIIs.
The six-year pro had a resurgent season, upping his three-point percentage from 29 percent to 36 percent, and after playing in just 54 games in 2015-16, he appeared in 76 contests this past season.
Shumpert signed with adidas as a rookie but his contract expired after the 2016 season, allowing him to showcase his stable of fire kicks in ’17. Scroll through the gallery above to check ’em out.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images