PJ Tucker debuted Giannis Antetokounmpo’s new Nikes before Giannis
Despite being known for his debut with incredibly rare and player-exclusive pairs, PJ Tucker raised the bar this week by presenting the new signature shoe from his Milwaukee Bucks teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Nike officially unveiled the Milwaukee franchise player’s third signature shoe in a press release earlier Tuesday, before the Bucks and Hawks face off in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Dubbed the Zoom Freak 3, the shoe is slated to hit the world on July 1, in a black and purple “Project 34” colourway and the more vibrant, all-orange “Freak” edition worn by Tucker.
Antetokounmpo, known to be a creature of habit during the playoffs, opted to continue wearing his previous Zoom Freak 2 model for Game 4. Tucker, who occasionally spins his sneakers by quarterback, was given the green light to do so. its beginnings, a rarity when it comes to homonymous beginnings.
After an awkward landing in the third quarter, Antetokounmpo sustained a left knee injury and did not return, although no structural damage was seen in subsequent medical examinations.
Since signing a long-term extension with Nike in fall 2017, the “Greek Freak” has become the first European Nike Basketball player to receive his own signature shoe. Now on its third model, its multi-position playstyle, unique stretched strides and versatile play have helped inspire the design and technology of the shoe.
“One of the hallmarks of his athleticism is that he quickly transfers energy from one leg to the other to maneuver his body through spaces,” said Ross Klein, senior creative director of men’s performance shoes at Nike. . “[Giannis] works all angles of his foot as he walks towards the basket, so we wanted to adjust the design to suit the way he moves from step to step. “
Featuring a curved, fluid upper, the shoe also incorporates a midfoot strap for the first time in the Freak series for added support. A two-unit Air Zoom cushioning setup is used in the forefoot, with Antetokounmpo often playing on his toes and in transition.
“His personality is fun and light and his style of play is dominant and energetic,” Klein continued. “We have used this philosophy to elevate the finishes, material choices and color methodology to bring out the ‘Freak’ attitude and expression.”
While performance technology tells a layer of Antetokounmpo’s story, at the start of the shoe’s signature process, he also established an approach for each design that he incorporated into each model.
“I wanted my shoe to introduce me and my family to the world,” he told Aaron Dodson of The Undefeated at the launch of Freak 1.
With some logos taken from the bars of the Greek flag and clothing featuring local typography, Antetokounmpo has also included each of his family members in the design of his three sneakers to date.
On the Freak 3, his brothers Francis, Thanasis, Kostas and Alex are each highlighted under the strap of the right shoe, while the phrase “I am my father’s legacy” is found under the strap of the left shoe. . In the fall of 2017, Charles Antetokounmpo died of a heart attack at the age of 54.
“I wanted my father to be remembered. I wanted people to know that he left a legacy behind him,” Antetokounmpo said at the time. “The only thing that interested him was his children … We are proud of that … Every shoe I make, that phrase will always be there.”