Around the NBA, players continued to wear a variety of exclusive and special-edition sneakers all week, ranging from custom hand-painted pairs celebrating the Philadelphia Eagles' first-ever Super Bowl victory, to rare editions worth tens of thousands of dollars.
In his return to Chicago, Jimmy Butler broke out one of the most coveted retro Air Jordans made in recent years. The Air Jordan Retro 4 collaboration between rapper Eminem and workwear brand Carhartt appears subtle at first glance, with its black twill upper and milky clear outsole. With only a few dozen pairs made, and Eminem's cult following ramping up the demand, they remain one of the more pricey pairs of Jordans ever produced. A size 9 is currently listed for $23,000 on eBay, while a size 10 is also offered up at nearly half the price, though hardly a bargain, of course. We're guessing that Jordan-sponsored Butler got his pair for free.
Earlier in the week, Butler's teammate Karl-Anthony Towns continued his unpredictable streak of wearing custom hand-painted themed editions of his size 20 Nike Hyperdunks. His latest pair, styled by artist Kickstradamis, features a tribute to the Eagles' slogan, in honor of their big win right in Towns' current backyard.
LeBron James also had a gridiron tribute of his own, wearing a new look of his LeBron 15 inspired by Deion Sanders' former signature shoes with Nike. The original strap-affixed Diamond Turf cross-trainer series played off of Sanders' two-sport ability in both baseball and football, and has long been a favorite of LeBron's. Fittingly, James wore the shoe in Atlanta, where Sanders first laced up for the Falcons.
While he's expected to headline Kobe Bryant's new "Protro" series of signature re-releases as a starter in next weekend's All-Star Game and through the remainder of the season, DeMar DeRozan couldn't quite wait.
"As a kid, we all gravitate to some player that you try to imitate or be like, and Kobe was definitely that," DeRozan said.
Donning an under-the-radar black pair of the Kobe 1 Protro, DeRozan will be following in the footsteps of his childhood idol as Nike's featured athlete to support the series.
Check out all of the best sneakers spotted around the league this week, and vote for your favorite pair below.