Detroit Vs Everybody

Pistons forward Stanley Johnson showed no fear in his first season in the League, whether guarding his idols or lacing up wavy colorways of their signature sneakers.
by August 23, 2016

Stanley Johnson is no stranger to dope kicks. After all, dude announced his college decision with a pair of custom Air Jordan IIIs.

And, despite financial difficulties in his youth that limited him to sneakers within a certain price range, Johnson has developed a passion for obtaining anything and everything that catches his eye—no matter the cost—to rock in NBA arenas across the country, taking him from “What are those?!” to becoming a staple in our Kicks of the Night recaps.

We caught up with the 20-year-old Pistons swingman and Nike endorser to talk go-to hoop shoes, rocking PEs and the code of ethics when it comes to wearing opponents’ signature sneakers.

SLAM: Do you remember your first pair of kicks?

Stanley Johnson: Yeah, they were some yellow Laker-colored Shaqs from Payless. My mom got them for my first team she coached. I used to wear running shoes, Vans and stuff because we couldn’t afford [certain shoes] back then. So when I got my first pair of shoes for my birthday, I wore them for like two to three years.

SLAM: Was that around the time you got your first basketball?

SJ: I probably got my first basketball when I was 1. My very first present was a real-life basketball and I always had it in my room.

SLAM: Anything in particular that got you interested in sneakers?

SJ: I just think that not being able to have them as a kid and always seeing guys like my friends having the fresh Js and stuff like that, you start to care about having the freshest kicks and things. I told my mom that one day I wanted to wear a different pair of shoes for every game, put them in the closet and never wear them again. You gotta have a lot of pairs of shoes in different colors and styles to do that, so it’s been a little ambition of mine. I started looking at different neon greens, yellows and reds and whites, and I started collecting shoes and it got crazy.

AUBURN HILLS, MI - SEPTEMBER 28: Stanley Johnson #3 of the Detroit Pistons poses during media day on September 28, 2015 at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by D.Williams/ Einstein/NBAE via Getty Image

SLAM: To date, how many pairs do you own?

SJ: I really don’t even know. I know I have like three closets worth. I have my high school stuff, some of my stuff is at my father’s house and I have all my college kicks in my garage and all the shoes I wore in the NBA are at my house in Detroit.

SLAM: What are your go-to shoes to play in?

SJ: Kobes. You can never go wrong with Kobes. I really like the KD9s that just came out. That’s the kind of shoe that I always wanted Nike to make. I’ve only had them for a couple days, so I’m trying to wear them in, but I like them so far.

SLAM: You broke out some Quentin Richardson x Jordan XII PEs in the Playoffs. Did you cop anything else from Q that you’re planning on rocking next season?

SJ: Yeah, I mean, Q’s the big homie [Richardson is currently the director of player development for the Pistons], so he’s given me a lot of his New York and Miami stuff—IXs, XIs, XIIs and other stuff. I feel like they’re so good I don’t know if I should put them on the court. As much as he gives stuff to me, he wants me to wear them. I’ll go out there and wear them.

SLAM: What’s your take on wearing opponents’ shoes?

SJ: The only person’s shoes I wore against him was Kobe, and even in the second game [we played the Lakers], I didn’t wear them. I just feel like you can’t do that. There’s like a little secret code in the NBA that you just don’t wear the other guy’s shoes against him.

SLAM: Are there any other sneakers you’re still on the hunt for?

SJ: I was on the hunt for the Wheat Air Zoom Generation 1s and I got them. The silver Anniversary XIs would be dope to have, and the Bruce Lee Kobe Vs. I had them but I need to get them again.

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Photo via Getty Images