In our first edition of the NBA Playoffs Sneaker Power Rankings, we broke down why the playoff stage is conducive to a superior sneaker product because players love to look good when all eyes are on them. The first round action proved us to be right but, unfortunately, the playoffs also mean that when teams get eliminated so do their kicks-savvy players.
Sneaker King Rankings History
Let’s take this time to shout out some of our fallen NBA sneakerheads, who now have all offseason to prepare to up their shoe games. Thunder players Russell Westbrook and Paul George, Nets guard D’Angelo Russell, Pistons guard Langston Galloway and Clippers big man Montrezl Harrell are all done for the season. The sneaker community hates to see them go. See ya next year, guys.
So which players took advantage of another round of basketball and brought out their best kicks? Let’s dive into that now.
Warriors guard Stephen Curry experienced a hot-and-cold second round against the Rockets. The three-time champion struggled throughout the series but reminded us all of his superstar pedigree with a 33-point outburst in the second half of the series-clinching Game 6. Curry’s sneaker highlights in the series included a number of colorways from his most recent signature, the Under Armour Curry 6. But in the biggest moment, Game 6 without Kevin Durant in the fold and with a chance to eliminate the Rockets, Curry decided to shake things up and go old school by breaking out the Under Armour Curry 1 “Splash Party.” Let’s just say that decision worked out just fine for him.
Jayson Tatum brought the sneaker heat during the Celtics’ first-round series against the Pacers, earning him the No. 4 spot in the first edition of the NBA Playoffs Sneaker Power Rankings. Though he’s been passed by this week, Tatum continued to show off his latest kicks courtesy of the fine folks over at Nike. As he’s been doing most of the season and playoffs, Tatum made frequent use of the Nike Adapt BB against the Bucks in the second round. His sneaker highlights include two player exclusive colorways that we’ve only seen on his feet. The sneaker community is both grateful for the kicks we saw and saddened that Tatum and the Celtics are out of the mix.
Jayson Tatum rocking his Nike Adapt BB PE against the Bucks.
Jayson Tatum in his latest Nike Adapt BB PE colorway.
6. James Harden, Houston Rockets
Though you could argue that the Rockets did not provide the Warriors with the heavyweight bout we all expected, you can’t say that MVP candidate James Harden didn’t go out in style. Inside Harden’s sneaker arsenal were a number of eye-popping colorways from his signature Adidas Harden Vol. 3 line. Despite bowing out of the playoffs, it’s safe to say that we have yet to see the best from Harden both on the court and when it comes to his kicks.
As a team, the Nuggets are on the higher side when it comes to the number of sneakerheads on the roster. Isaiah Thomas, Trey Lyles, Malik Beasley and Monté Morris all take their on-court sneaker selections very seriously and love to shake things up. Well, in these playoffs and in the second round against the Trail Blazers it was second-year hooper Torrey Craig that brought the most sneaker heat. Craig’s highlights included the Nike Kobe 10 “Opening Night,” and the Jordan 14 Rip Hamilton PE. If you’re not tuning into the Nuggets next season because of all their young players and budding potential, then just give them a shot simply for the sneaker watching. You won’t regret it.
Torrey Craig breaks out the Nike Kobe 10 ‘Opening Night.’
Torrey Craig rocking the Jordan 14 Rip Hamilton PE.
4. Marcus Morris, Boston Celtics
Marcus Morris’ sneaker game is legit. It’s consistent, you always know you’re going to get something good. And, on occasion, he reaches deep into his shoe vault and pulls out some crazy heat. Like we mentioned earlier about the Nuggets being a swag-heavy team, the same can be said about the Celtics. Morris is just one of a number of players on Boston’s roster that regularly makes you check in just to check out what pair he broke out that game. Against the Bucks, Morris’ highlights included a heavy dose of LeBron James signature kicks, including the Nike LeBron 16 Atmos “Safari” and the LeBron 16 Atmos “Clear Jade.”
When it comes to kicks, Tobias Harris is a specialty player. Harris rocks shoes from the Nike Kobe line. That’s it. It’s what he does, it’s his thing. He’s one of the premier players in the league when it comes to carrying the ever-burning torch that is the signature Nike Kobe line. That’s why it’s extra impressive that Harris continues to find ways to land so high on these rankings. He simply finds ways to surprise us by bringing out our favorite Kobe kicks from over the years. His highlights in the second round included the Nike Kobe 5 “Five Rings,” the Kobe 8 “Green Glow Laser” and the Kobe 11 “Quai 54.”
Tobias Harris in the Nike Kobe 8 ‘Green Glow Laser.’
2. Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics
Kyrie Irving will have to answer a lot of questions this offseason, mainly which NBA city he’s going to call home for the next few years. One thing he does not have to worry about is finding a way to elevate his shoe game. Nope. He has that all figured out. Irving’s signature line with Nike, which is currently at the Nike Kyrie 5 model, is one of the more creative signature silhouettes in the game and the hype for a sixth edition is already brewing. Keep scrolling to check out Irving’s best kicks from the second round and just know that it took an enormous effort to keep him out of the No. 1 spot.
Kyrie Irving kept you on your toes with his shoe game in the second round of the NBA playoffs.
Kyrie Irving in the latest Nike Kyrie 5 PE.
1. P.J. Tucker, Houston Rockets
P.J. Tucker makes this all look so easy. The locker overspilling with rare shoes. The walk through the tunnel during pregame with someone’s grail in his hands nonchalantly. For anyone else it’d be a big deal, for Tucker it’s another day. And like clockwork, he had some of those regular days in the second round series against the Warriors. His highlights included warming up in the Nike Air Fear of God 1, which is just insane seeing as how those kicks aren’t set to release until the summer. He also broke out a new Nike Kobe 4 PE that was made exclusively for Suns guard Devin Booker, again just unreal. Tucker really struck gold when he became the first NBA player to debut the Jordan 5 Trophy Room, which will release in very limited numbers in May. This is what he does. Legends make extraordinary things look mundane and that’s what P.J. Tucker did with his shoe game this season.
P.J. Tucker rocking the Jordan 5 Trophy Room.
P.J. Tucker rocking a Nike Kobe 4 PE courtesy of Suns guard Devin Booker.
Read this article from its original source at https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/nba-playoffs-sneaker-power-rankings-kyrie-irvings-impressive-run-only-topped-by-shoe-king-p-j-tucker/