LeBron Apparently Doesn’t Want Kicks Like Mike
The man sitting next to Michael Jordan in the picture above is legendary sneaker designer Tinker Hatfield. Take one look at Hatfield’s portfolio and you will quickly surmise he is responsible for some of the most iconic sneaker designs of all time. Naturally, when Nike signed Jordan’s heir apparel apparent LeBron James, they assigned Hatfield to King James in order to develop the next line of legendary basketball shoes. Just like Mike, right? Well, not exactly.
Apparently, Hatfield jumped off the LeBron account because of the entourage Bron-Bron surrounded himself with (skip to 1:30):
Money quote [sic'd]:
Tinker stated that he used to work on the signature lines of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James; however, in regards to LeBron, he said, “I used to work on LeBron’s [shoe line], until his entourage kind of pissed me off.” He later stated that LeBron was ‘cool’ but his entourage is obviously Hatfield’s problem.
Now, let’s keep in mind that LeBron’s line of shoes and apparel do pretty well without Hatfield on board: the eighth edition of his shoe released last week with a $160 price tag and there is no doubt they’ll sell well. However, none of the previous seven versions of his shoe have reached iconic status like Jordan’s — leading one to wonder if things might be different with someone like Hatfield on board.
Regardless of what LeBron’s biggest detractors have said about him, there isn’t much disagreement about the effort he puts in to becoming the best player he can be on the court. However, Hatfield’s comments, taken within the context of “The Decision,” tend to make me think he could stand to put at least half as much effort in selecting the people he has represent him off the court.
(h/t to Nice Kicks)
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