As the NBA nears its return at Walt Disney World, round21 ranks the 11 best PEs of the year so far.
Kyrie Irving – Kyrie 3 “Mamba Mentality”
Following the tragic death of Kobe Bryant on January 26, Kyrie honored The Mamba a few nights later in the red alternate of his “Mamba Mentality” Bruce Lee-inspired Kyrie 3.
PJ Tucker – OVO x Air Jordan 11 “Snakeskin” Sample
In early February, Sneaker King PJ Tucker had the internet buzzing (per usual) when he took the court in an unreleased pair of the OVO x Air Jordan 11 “Snakeskin.” Later in the month, he followed up with a pink snakeskin version in Boston that we haven’t even seen Drake rock for himself.
LeBron James – LeBron 7 “Media Day”
LeBron teased the internet with this gem back in September during Lakers Media Day. Nike eventually released the shoe on the SNKRS app in May, selling out instantly.
DeMar Derozan – Kobe V Protro “Big Stage”
Since Kobe’s retirement in 2016, DeMar Derozan has organically carried the Nike x Kobe torch. DeMar honored Bryant once more on the day of the Laker legend’s death, debuting the “Big Stage” colorway of the Kobe V against Toronto.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – Zoom Freak 1 “Employee of the Month Alternate”
A nod to Eddie Murphy’s classic film ‘Coming to America’, Giannis flipped the “Employee of the Month” colorway with a clean, white base. A perfect fit for Prince Giannis.
Jayson Tatum – Air Jordan 34
Before the suspension of the NBA season, Jayson Tatum was on a run like no other. The All-Star and the Eastern Conference’s Player of the Month for February has been tearing teams apart in special Air Jordan 34 PEs, paying homage to his hometown, family, favorite foods, and more. This “Chinese Takeout” PE features a crispy white base with a fortune cookie and takeout packaging on the back of each shoe.
Steph Curry – Curry 7 “Sour Patch”
In November, Under Armour released the exclusive Curry x Sour Patch Kids collab in a “lime” and “peach” colorway. Although we didn’t get to see much of Steph this season, he returned from injury in March rocking one of each flavor.
Paul George – PG3 “Oregon”
The PG sneaker line has been one of the more popular in the league. This season, George debuted the 4th edition of the PG shoe but took it back to the PG3 in January with the widely celebrated Oregon Ducks colorway.
Blake Griffin – Air Jordan 34 “Office Supplies”
Blake Griffin paid homage to Scranton in this hilarious Air Jordan 34 PE. The shoes are filled with references to The Office, one of his favorite shows.
Damian Lillard – Dame 6 “RUTHLESS”
Damian Lillard is as ruthless as they come. Whether on the court or on the mic, expect nothing but results from Dame Dolla. The Dame 6 “Ruthless” features an asymmetrical design that makes quite the statement for the silent assassin.
Darius Bazely – New Balance OMN1s Low “Freshness”
Former New Balance intern Darius Bazely had significant input on his Fresh Prince-inspired colorway for the OMN1s low. New Balance is looking to shake things up in the basketball sneaker game with Kawhi Leonard, Dejounte Murray, and Bazely leading the charge.