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Unless you’re talking about Serge Ibaka’s artistic sense of style, we don’t often see the worlds of fashion and sports merge — but ask any sneakerhead and they’d argue otherwise.
What started decades ago as a status symbol popularized by b-boy culture has now evolved into a booming billion-dollar market referred to as “sneaker culture.” From expensive and exclusive kicks to new releases of Air Jordan Retros and fan-favourite collabs with Virgil Abloh, no other sport is more intertwined with “sneaker culture” than basketball.
In the days leading up to All-Star Weekend, searches on eBay for the LeBron “Monstar(launched Feb. 13) rose 148 per cent from the day the shoe was announced. Featuring multicolour accents of shimmering purple and orange, the sneaker pays homage to the 2021 release of the “Space Jam” sequel, where LeBron James will portray the fearless Looney Tunes leader.
The LeBron 17 ‘Monstars’.— Nike Basketball (@nikebasketball) February 11, 2020
Paying homage to the classic film, @kingjames’ latest design embodies the galactic, extraterrestrial vibe of the villainous Monstars now landing in the Windy City.
Arriving February 13 🇺🇸: https://t.co/WzwGhzkgEn #LeBron17 #SpaceJam #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/c5pJ0AYYTH
Shop it: Nike, $300
While LeBron’s 9, X and 15 are some of the bestselling sneakers on eBay, Michael Jordan currently holds top spot with the Air Jordan 11. Breaking sales records year after year, the December release of the Air Jordan 11 Retro has proven to be one of the most significant shoe releases of the last four seasons. eBay’s pre-release drop of the “Bred” Jordan 11s (with the original colours from 1996) sold out in less than four minutes.
Shop it: StockX, starting at $215
In honour of the NBA All-Star Weekend, a pinnacle time for highly-anticipated sneaker sales and drops, we look back at some of the most memorable All-Star sneakers.
When Michael Jordan wore the Jordan 11 Columbia during the 1996 All-Star game, fans everywhere rejoiced as it marked his return to the game following a two-year absence. The shoes were designed to perfectly match what would become one of the most iconic All-Star jerseys ever.
Shop it: eBay, $225
For the 2012 All-Star game, Nike introduced the outer space theme collection that included one of their most iconic shoes. Kobe Bryant lead the charge with the Galaxy Big Bang KB7, complete with a glow-in-the-dark sole.
Shop it: eBay, $777
The debut of the Jordan 3 at the 1988 All-Star game was a pivotal moment for both Nike and MJ. MJ did one of his most iconic free dunks in the white colourway and followed up with a stellar 40-point performance in the black the following day.
Shop it: Ebay, $398
LeBron hit the court in the "Big Bang" LeBron 9, said to be inspired by the beginning of the universe.
Shop it: eBay $120
1998 marked the first of 18 All-Star appearances for Kobe Bryant, and this one did not disappoint as he went head-to-head with Michael Jordan wearing the Crazy 8.
Shop it: eBay, $464
Nike’s theme for the 2013 All-Star game was “extraterrestrial,” and the LeBron X was released in an unmissable Area 72 Purple and Pink colourway.
Shop it: eBay, $239
Released along the aforementioned Nike LeBron X, All-Star Kevin Durant also had his own "extraterrestrial" iteration of his Nike KD 5 that's inspired by Houston and the host city’s role in space exploration.
Shop it: eBay, $113
Although it was rumoured to be a rose pink colourway dubbed “Hollywood,” Nike never had an official All-Star sneaker for LeBron in 2018. Instead, the king opted his Kith “Closing Ceremony” collab and took home his third All-Star MVP win.
Shop it: eBay, $1,060
In 2010, KD made his first All-Star game appearance in an all red-black colourway. The sneaker was a standout with a 3M upper finish.
Shop it: eBay, $239
Dee Brown put this sneaker on the map during the 1991 Dunk Contest. Dee showcased one of the most iconic dunks in All-Star lore – the no-look dunk that secured his spot in first place.
Shop it: eBay, $424