Luka Doncic, the elder of my two sons, has already answered the question of whether or not his game translates to the National Basketball Association — colloquially known by its fans as the NBA — with a resounding yes. He’s scoring better than most expected and his passing is as good as advertised.
Doncic also — and if you know me at all, you know this is important — has the best sneakers of any of his fellow rookies. Most of them signed shoes deals with the revitalized Puma, back in basketball for the first time since around Vince Carter’s rookie year, and the revamped take on the classic Clydes are fine. The Halloween-themed “X-Ray” iteration is especially good. Trae Young has some highlighter-yellow Adidas that look pretty clean on the court and Knicks undrafted rookie Allonzo Trier makes some surprising and delightful choices. But no rookie is touching Luka.
It’s not a surprise.
When he was starring overseas last year, he was fond of wearing wild Nike Hyperdunk Lows and Kobe ADs illustrated by renowned sneaker customizer Kickstradomis. Now with the Mavericks — and with the NBA’s new restriction-free policy on shoe colors — my guy is bringing more traditional heat, like a pair of KD7 N7s:
And KD5 Elites:
And a pair of Kyrie Low IDs that he designed for his debut:
And, yes, more Kickstradomis embellishments:
And, my favorite, Kobe 6 “Grinches”:
His career has barely started and already he is a pro.