LeBron James’ Lakers Debut Sneakers Will Have Cleveland Colors

Getty Images LeBron James is set to debut for the Lakers on Thursday night.

Unless you were a close family member or friend of LeBron James, you had no idea where he intended on playing basketball in 2018-2019. That includes Nike as well. A little under two years ago, Nike started developing a sneaker for LeBron that would resemble his same pair from his rookie season dating all the way back to 2003.

LeBron will don that set on Thursday night during his debut with the Los Angeles Lakers, but it won’t be an excellent match for his uniform. When Nike started developing his 2018 debut sneakers, LeBron James was still the face of the Cleveland Cavaliers. In fact, there was little discussion about him leaving during that time if even any discussion at all.

Now that LeBron is rocking a new uniform, his match game might be a little off for Thursday night, but that’s okay. If anything, LeBron will be paying tribute to where it all started. After all, that was the whole purpose of the idea in the first place. According to ESPN’s Nick DePaula, the inspiration for Thursday night’s shoes came from LeBron’s first shoe campaign with Nike from the beginning of his career.

A Look at the Style

“The luxurious burgundy tones, the gold detailing, his original [LJ23] logo and the animal fur — a combination of the lions and the animal pelt he had draped over the throne — are all there as nods to that poster,”

Jason Petrie, the designer of the new LeBron 16s, referenced the poster ad that drew the inspiration for the design. The poster featured an 18-year-old LeBron James sitting on a gold throne in his baggy velour suit, surrounded by three lions. This was far before Nike paid him the really big bucks. Although he wasn’t the face of the company just yet, they had a long-term vision from LeBron early on, and it surely paid off many years later.


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