TIL the 1994 NBA MVP Hakeem Olajuwon released pairs of $35 sneakers instead of endorsing shoes from other brands. He...

TIL the 1994 NBA MVP Hakeem Olajuwon released pairs of $35 sneakers instead of endorsing shoes from other brands. He said, “How can a poor working mother with three boys buy Nikes or Reeboks that cost $120…She can’t. So kids steal these shoes from stores and others. Sometimes they kill for them

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  • When Michael Jordan first retired, the Rockets won back to back NBA championships with Olajuwon being the Finals MVP in both. Instead of cashing in on his success with a big endorsement for his own benefit he put his name on affordable shoes.

  • It blows my mind that people really get gunned down for a pair of shoes. You should only murder for the thrill of the kill.

  • There were a few affordable NBA player branded shoes out back then. It was pretty cool because it did save you from getting made fun of for a while.

    **The secret**: Where you sell them.

    Jordan actually has a less expensive version of his own shoes. The “Team Jordans”. You could rock those and not be ostracized.

    Kevin Durants signature shoes were fairly affordable at $88. Then he [basically requested the price be raised](https://www.si.com/nba/2016/07/07/warriors-kevin-durant-kd-sneakers-shoes-nike-increased-price) to reflect the perceived worth in his head…. “I’m not an $88 player.”

    But both those shoes were sold at footlocker, champs, and places like that.

    Shaq’s shoes were affordable but they still got you made fun of because they were sold in [K-mart as opposed to an actual shoe store.](http://footwearnews.com/2016/focus/athletic-outdoor/shaq-sold-over-120-million-pairs-walmart-sneakers-210621/) But he’s sold over 120 million of them so he’s probably pleased.

  • Hakeem Olajuwon… da real MVP.

  • Stephen Marbury did something similar… but he only charged $15. Even wore the shoes while playing. [There’s a great planet money podcast about it](http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2017/07/21/538621509/episode-785-the-starbury).

  • I wonder what he thinks about Lonzo’s snekaers

  • Those 3 boys got flamed daily for those 40 dollar shoes tho.

  • I think it’s important for everyone to read the article and not just this title, since it’s pretty misleading. The article actually says he wasn’t black enough to be marketable, and his shoes were too cheap for anytime to want them, so it completely and utterly failed. He’s made a new line of shoes–for $120.

  • Shoutout to Stephon Marbury

  • Shaq did the same thing.

  • I don’t get why people spend $200 for sneakers. I wait till clearance and spend less than $40 for nikes and Adidas sneakers.

  • Maybe the solution is to change the culture that places such importance on fucking NBA branded sneakers rather than trying to fix it by introducing a new brand. It’s not like affordable shoes don’t exist.

  • Its funny because shoes cost like 4$ to make

  • He was one of my idols growing up and I was a Knicks fan in the Jordan era. His sneakers were Spalding and only available at Payless Shoe Source.

    Another amazing thing about Hakeem, is during Ramadan he would play a full game with NO hydration due to fasting.

  • GG Hakeem.

  • Starburys

  • The article doesn’t mention it, but I seem to remember that he also played in those shoes to try and prove that they were as good as shoes you can buy for $120.

  • This is admirable, but it makes so sense and does little to help the issue.

    The shoes kids buy, steal, and kill for are status symbols b/c of how expensive they are. Status and quality don’t always go hand in hand, and almost never so regarding affordability.

    You sell Jordan’s $35, they lose their luster, stop being desirable, and people kill each other over something else.

  • I had a pair of hakeems. They were decent.

  • I remember these shoes. They sold them at Walmart. The Walmart near my house even had a section for them with a tv that played a promo for them that was about him.

    I had a pair of LA Gear light ups when I was 10. I thought I was the coolest kid in school back then for them.

  • Shit, I’d buy a pair. This guy sounds awesome.

  • I agree. The cost of shoes like Nike’s are absolutely ridiculous. The shoes should be affordable.

    Nike shoes are also only that expensive because of the Logo. Take away that Swoosh and they’d be any other shoe.

  • This really shows what a wonderful sole this man really was.

  • the real problem isn’t that shoes are expensive sometimes, it’s that there are kids out there who are so fucking ignorant and stupid they would kill someone over a pair of sneakers. fix that problem first.

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