LeBron James Rocks Leopard Print Sleeve in Lakers Debut

lebron james leopard print sleeve

Getty LeBron James wore a leopard print shooting sleeve.

It is only fitting that LeBron James made his Los Angeles Lakers debut in style as King James sported a leopard print sleeve as they took on Portland. James normally wears a shooting sleeve, but this is the first time in recent memory that he has worn a sleeve with a pattern. At first glance, the sleeve looks clear, but once you look closer you can see the print underneath the sleeve.

If fans thought James may do his best to lessen the expectations of this Lakers team, you would be mistaken. Hours before tipoff James noted that winning a championship is still the goal this season. ESPN detailed James’ pregame comments.

“It’s just my goal. It’s always been my goal … maybe the last 10 or 11 years where I felt like it’s championships,” James said. “I want to win championships, and putting my mind into that and thinking about it. I think when you have championship habits, you have championship thoughts, and things come into fruition.”

“Obviously, there’s only one champion at the end of the road, and you can’t dictate wins and losses, things of that nature, but you can approach every day like a champion. And if you do that, you put yourself in a position to be successful. Either individually or as a team, or whatever the case is.”

It is not the first time James has showed off something with leopard print. Earlier this year, James posted a photo of a pair of Nike Air Zoom Generation shoes in full leopard print.

Here’s a closer look at the sleeve, which appears to be a Nike product with an NBA logo.

James is never afraid to take a fashion risk, including rocking a suit with shorts instead of dress pants during last year’s NBA finals. According to GQ, James won the Harlem Fashion Row Icon award just a few weeks ago.

James recently released a new signature shoe for women that was entirely designed by women. SB Nation detailed the thought process behind the shoe.

But as James stood on a Lower East Side stage just before the official launch of New York Fashion Week, there was one important addition to the countless resulting photos. As he held his remarkably composed three-year-old daughter Zhuri in his arms, James explained why the new LeBron 16 sneaker for women was so important to make — and why the process by which they were made was so important, too.

“I was thinking about the African American woman, and why I believe they’re the most powerful women in the world,” James began, before speaking about his mother Gloria, his wife Savannah — both sitting at a table near the front, wearing the new sneaker — and his daughter.

That sentiment is what led to the HFR x LeBron 16, the first shoe from a male athlete’s line designed for women by women. HFR is Harlem’s Fashion Row, a collective founded by Brandice Daniel to support the work of designers of color.