Why did LeBron James wear Cavs-colored shoes in his Lakers debut?

Yahoo Sports

When it was announced that LeBron James would wear burgundy shoes with gold trim for his Los Angeles Lakers debut, people shook their heads.

He’s not in Cleveland any more. Why is he wearing Cavs colors?

Something doesn’t match here

Well, his Lakers debut was Thursday night against the Portland Trail Blazers, and the Nikes on his feet indeed did not match the purple and gold on his jersey.

Something looks out of place here. (Getty)
Something looks out of place here. (Getty)

Jason Petrie, the designer of the LeBron 16s spoke with ESPN and did his best to explain that the shoes weren’t Cavaliers colors, but an homage to a 2003 Nike ad featuring James sitting on a throne surrounded by lions.


Shoes based on old Nike ad

“The luxurious burgundy tones, the gold detailing, his original [LJ23] logo and the animal fur — a combination of the lions and the animal pelt he had draped over the throne — are all there as nods to that poster,” Petrie said.

Well. Ok. But isn’t the color scheme in that ad based on the Cavaliers?

“We’re working on this 18 months to two years in advance, and we didn’t know where he was going,” Petrie told ESPN. “We planned it that even though he could very easily stay in Cleveland, we should look at these colors to where it doesn’t matter. He could wear it on any given night, and he could get away with it.”

Ok, that seems a little more straightforward. It sounds like Nike had these shoes in the works well in advance and didn’t anticipate his bolting for L.A. But there were photos circulating of the same shoes in Lakers colors.

And that last part is true. LeBron is LeBron. He can get away with it. There’s not much within the bounds of the law and decency that Lames can’t get away with.

As long as he performs in L.A. like he has everywhere else, we’re guessing Lakers fans don’t care what color shoes he wears.

Well — except for the Kobestans, that is.

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