Why is Nikola Jokic the only NBA MVP without a signature shoe?

For most NBA stars, making it to the world’s most exclusive sports league and being placed on a team is the ultimate goal and a dream come true. An even more exclusive club, however, is the short list of NBA players with their own signature shoes. Ever since Michael Jordan revolutionized the bridge between designer sneakers and basketball, it has been a common theme for top NBA players to sport their own model of shoes.

It is much more common for players to have a PE (player edition) of a sneaker already in production from a brand they have collaborated with. Some notable PEs include Ray Allen’s Jordan 13, Chris Paul’s Jordan 11, and DeMar Derozan’s Kobe PE collection. However, there is a small number of players who continue to have their own signed model. In fact, every NBA MVP since Kobe Bryant in 2008 has had their own signed shoe, except for one: two-time reigning MVP Nikola Jokic.

Everyone has had Player Editions except Nikola Jokic

Since Kobe won the MVP in 2008, the winners are as follows: LeBron James (4x), Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry (2x), Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo (2x) and Nikola Jokic (2x). All players, besides Nikola Jokic, have their own signature sneakers with brands such as Nike, Adidas, Under Amour, and Jordan. Although he has a shoe contract with Nike and sports his Nike Air Zoom G.T. PE, Jokic has yet to be offered his own signed shoe. Although he has not publicly asked for one, he is confident that the two-time MVP in a row and the best long man of all time deserves his sneaker.

There are a number of reasons why Nike might be reluctant to offer Nikola Jokic his own sneaker. Historically, Nike has not been very enthusiastic about making exclusive shoes for NBA long men. Shaquille O’Neal had one of the biggest sneaker deals as a center, but he was signed with Reebok early in his career. Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and Dwight Howard were all signed with Adidas, but they failed to bring a distinctive look and stayed with PE of the same Adidas models. Marketing centers and big men have never been Nike’s plan of action, and it is harder to do that with a European player like Nikola Jokic.

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