Why the Sabrina 1s have taken over the NBA shoe game


SABRINA IONESCU COULDN’T Wait for the NBA season to start. Specifically, WNBA All-Stars were circled. Boston CelticsSeason opener is a must-see, with excitement over Jrue Holiday’s new franchise debut.

Ionescu is a 26 year old sharpshooter, who grew in the Bay Area, and plays for the New York Liberty. She’s not a Celtics fan, and hasn’t met Holiday. She has a special connection to the two-time All Star guard. Holiday was the first NBA star to wear her Nike Sabrina 1s in game action.

Holiday had worn Sabrina 1s for media day and preseason matches, but Ionescu was thrilled to see Holiday in the player-exclusive colorway of white, blue and black during Boston’s Oct. 17, win against The New York Knicks.

Ionescu said to ESPN: “I don’t think I watched the match.” “I was just watching his feet.”

Holiday, who is currently at a career-high 43.5% in 3-point shooting, has worn Sabrinas in 53 games. That’s the most in the league. “Maybe it’s part of why I’m so good at shooting,” he said to ESPN.

According to the on-court sneaker tracking service, 77 NBA stars have joined Holiday and worn the Sabrina 1s during the 2023-24 NBA season. kixstats.com. Holiday chose Sabrina 1s primarily because he thought they’d be “cool” to show his support for women’s sport — a matter that was especially meaningful to the husband of National Soccer Hall of Famer Lauren Holiday. However, several players told ESPN that they didn’t give gender a second consideration when taking the court wearing them.

Ionescu’s debut sneaker was launched by Nike in September. Sabrina 1s are a favorite among players for their look, feel, and functionality. They’re often found in lockers alongside Nike staples like Kobes and LeBrons.

Ionescu, speaking of the Sabrina 1s, said that they were not a women’s or men’s basketball shoes. They were just basketball shoes.

“I think it’s time to push this idea. I want people to buy in to the story and respect it.”

A DOZEN PLAYERS The WNBA has had signature shoe deals for 27 years, starting with Sheryl Swaoopes’ Nike contract that began in 1995. It lasted seven years. Rebecca Lobo (Reebok), Nikki McCray (Fila), Candace Parker (Adidas) and Breanna Stewart (Pumas are among those who have followed. Elena Delle Donne, Stewart and Ionescu, who are both active WNBA stars with signature shoe deals, have been joined by Ionescu.

Ionescu Nikes have been the most successful in the NBA.

Knicks guard Jalen Brunson On Dec. 15, he wore a white and orange colorway, while scoring his then-career high of 50 points. Indiana Pacers Guard against a rash of attacks Tyrese Haliburton wore a cornucopia custom colorway, which included red, orange and green on the right shoe, and black, red and navy on the other, to match the Pacers 157-152 win against the Atlanta Hawks On November 21,

Detroit Pistons Guard against a rash of attacks Cade Cunningham The Pistons ended their historic losing streak by scoring 30 points and receiving 12 assists on December 30, so they went with a more simple customized version — all white, with a red swoosh in the right shoe, and a blue swoosh in the left.

Sabrina 1s has a presence that extends beyond NBA and WNBA court. The Sabrina 1s have been spotted in both the women’s and men’s NCAA tournaments during this season. Ionescu gifted pairs of shoes personally to Caitlin (Clark), the star who is likely to get her own shoe deal in the future, and Iowa teammates, this week, before the Hawkeyes appearance at the Final Four.

The sneakers are also available overseas. Nigel Hayes Davis wore the sneakers while breaking the Fenerbahce record. EuroLeague’s single-game scoring record of 50 points was set on March 29, 2019.

The shoes have a vertically slanted Swoosh on the arched foot side, which represents Ionescu’s ability to break barriers.

She was the only player in NCAA’s history (male or female) to have more than 2,000 combined points, 1,000 combined rebounds and 1,000 assists in their career. Last season she broke Diana Taurasi’s 17-year WNBA record for the most 3-pointers made in a season. She also recently defeated Golden State Warriors Star Stephen Curry 3-point duel during NBA All-Star Weekend in February.

Haliburton said that the W would have its biggest success in the coming year. He is a sponsor of a girls elite youth basketball team in his home state of Wisconsin. “I think that as allies to those players and the League in general, we should show love whenever we can.”

Haliburton, and other players in the league are not surprised that Ionescu’s debut sneaker is reminiscent of one of most popular and sought after signature shoes ever made.

Haliburton replied, “I can’t remember the last time I heard a woman’s shoe pop like this.”

NBA PLAYERS Sabrina 1s are often worn by players this season, and they have been compared to Kobe Bryant’s signature Nike shoe.

The silhouette and feel of the shoes reminds me of an old Kobe. Utah Jazz Guard against a rash of attacks Jordan Clarkson “They are super comfortable,” ESPN.com reported. “They’re super comfy. The design is great.”

As you can see, Dallas Mavericks rookie center Dereck Lively I She told ESPN: “They remind of Kobes but she has her own twist.”

The resemblance in appearance isn’t just a coincidence. Ionescu was the No. Bryant’s Kobe Vs was worn by Ionescu in many of her outfits. Pro games before getting your own signature shoe Ionescu worked closely alongside Nike designers to incorporate her favorite elements from the Kobes during the development process.

Deepa Ramprasad is the Nike footwear director. She told ESPN, “It was very important to us that we take this inspiration and take her favorite insights and deliver it in a unique way that was Sabrina’s.” “I think this kind of lineage has been intentional since the shoe’s conception, and we feel we’ve created something that’s truly unique to Sabrina,” Nike footwear product manager Deepa Ramprasad told ESPN.

The shoes are decorated with intricate embroidery, both on the front and through eyelets. Inspired by Romanian art, architecture and design.

“As for looks, I think these are the best shoes on the team,” Denver Nuggets Guard against a rash of attacks Christian Braun ESPN. Braun has incorporated them into his game rotation alongside his Kobes.

Ionescu is most proud of the functionality of her signature shoe. She is not only concerned with the fashion aspect, but also the personal touches. These include a stylized “S”, in a circle, on the tongue of the shoe and a lowercase letter “i” on its heel.

Ionescu said, “I think that what was really important for me was to understand what was helping me out on the court.” “I was a Kobes player professionally, but I wore Hyperdunks in college and almost every signature athlete. I knew what I needed in terms of performance, and having the freedom to design whatever I wanted was very exciting.

Ionescu said that she wanted to maximize speed while reducing fatigue, which Ramprasad likened to “trying oil and vinegar together.”

Nike and Ionescu did a great job. The sleek Sabrina 1s are praised by players for their light, cushioned feel.

Nuggets shootingguard: “It is a comfortable shoe that is amazing.” Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ESPN. “The grip and the other stuff, it’s definitely a great shoe.”

NIKE SELLS NINE The Sabrina 1s come in standard colorways, but you can also customize them. Some players have been able to relive their childhood.

“When we were in middle-school, we definitely made Kobes, LeBrons, and shoes we never bought, but we always just made them using the computer,” Haliburton said, wearing a two tone pink pair of Sabrina 1s Wednesday night against the Brooklyn Nets.

“It’s pretty cool to see that” [with] Sabrinas you can do that. You see people creating their own creations and adding their numbers to them. This takes us back to childhood.”

Nuggets rookie Julian Strawther Create seven or eight custom colorways.

Strawther said to ESPN, “They came out on fire.” “She put a heater out with her first shoe. So I gotta ride.”

Clarkson, announcing that he understands the impact of the Sabrina 1s on someone such as his daughter, estimated he’s created at least fifteen of his colorways: “I got a whole drawer full.”

Fashion has played an important role in the Sabrina 1s’ popularity throughout the NBA. It is also a reflection on the respect NBA players have shown for the women’s sport, which has been growing rapidly, thanks in part to the emergence and popularity of stars in WNBA, NCAA, and other leagues.

NBA players will appreciate a good basketball shoe.

“It is funny that people ask you, ‘Why’re you wearing a girls’ shoe?’ Lively said. “I’m like, ‘Why wouldn’t I?'”

This report was contributed by ESPN’s Tim Bontemps.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *