Why Joe Ingles continues to wear a discontinued Kobe Bryant sneaker
Joe ingles is the NBA’s consistency model.
The Utah Jazz swingman has played 379 straight games, a league-high, and he has done so with a rare change of shoes.
While other NBA players tear up sneakers – sometimes changing three or four times in the same game – Ingles once wore the same size 13, yellow and white pair for six weeks, even though they had a stain of ketchup on the toe of a pre-game. meal accident.
“All of my teammates used to laugh at me and say, ‘Why don’t you buy some new shoes? “He said.” I just don’t mind. The shoe is comfortable, my feet feel good. We’re trying to win a basketball game, I’m not worried. Obviously, looking back now, it’s probably a little filthy that I’m doing this. . “
The Nike Kobe AD Mid, Ingles’ shoe of choice, was originally released in August 2017. Ingles has worn it for each of his 162 games over the past two seasons, despite not being ‘has not been manufactured since the 2017-18 season. Wearing an abandoned model was already a challenge, but all merchandise related to Kobe Bryant became harder to find after the NBA legend died in January. Nike has not released any Bryant products since, but the company will kick off a Bryant celebration week with new shoes and clothing starting Sunday, which would have been Bryant’s 42nd birthday.
The lack of availability of products related to Bryant has forced Ingles to resort to unusual measures to get his favorite kicks on the court, even though he has signed a deal with Nike which provides him with clothes and sneakers.
Jazz equipment manager Adam Klauke said he sources Ingles’ shoes “wherever we can find them,” including shopping shipments on Amazon, eBay and the popular resale market of StockX shoes. So far, they haven’t had to pay wacky prices to keep Ingles happy, which Klauke called “lucky.” Still, buying shoes through public resale channels led to hard times for the Jazz forward.
“You kind of forget your name is on the account,” Ingles says. “I’m going to order and the guys will be like, ‘Aw, is that Joe Ingles from Jazz? I can’t believe you bought my shoes! ‘ I never answer, because I’m probably too lazy to answer, but I would do anything to find a shoe I like. “
Once he finds such a pair, he is reluctant to let them go.
“We know how he is and still look the same,” said teammate Royce O’Neale.
Teammate Donovan mitchell has already worn 11 different colourways of his signature Adidas shoe when resuming the NBA. Ingles could take two seasons to reach that number.
“Joe will probably go through five or six pairs of shoes in a season,” Klauke said. “Same model all season, for training and games. He feels comfortable in these shoes and he wants these shoes, so if they ain’t broke, don’t fix them.”
Klauke is keen on six or seven new pair – spotless, to be clear – to help Ingles finish this season. A few lightly used pairs are also on the deck.
“If they start to get really dirty and scuffed, that’s kind of when we start using them for training,” Klauke said. “Joe will tell me when he’s done with the shoes.”
Ingles will return to the field in Sunday’s first round of playoffs against the Denver Nuggets on the first day of Nike’s “Mamba Week,” an extension of a tradition started in 2016 with “Mamba Day,” which graced the final game of Nike. Bryant – coincidentally. against Ingles and Jazz.
On that day, the company gifted all of its sponsored athletes around the world a pair of black and gold Kobe 11s for the inaugural “Mamba Day”. Ingles wore the custom pair during warm-ups, but by the time Bryant wrapped up his 60-point masterpiece, Ingles was back in the Kobe 10 – the model he wore for three seasons before moving to Kobe AD, which at that point had already been interrupted. The contrast in the shoes was evident in the third quarter when Ingles was paired on the perimeter against Bryant, who wore the special black and gold sneakers, as Jack Nicholson watched from his usual seat on the court.
“Ten years ago, I never thought of playing in the NBA, let alone [Bryant’s] last game, “Ingles said.” One of the coolest things that ever happened was playing this game and signing the shoes for him, when Nike made us all a shoe, and it had the date of the game on it and everything that was. sewn into it. “
As his back-to-back streak develops, he plans to continue wearing sneakers from Bryant’s line. Maybe not the last.
“I will wear the Kobe until no one else wears it and as everyone moves on to the next I will move on to the one everyone else has now,” he said.