While Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo is set to play in a third consecutive NBA All-Star Game, this year marks his first time doing so as one of the top two-vote getters in the league.
As such, Antetokounmpo and Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James were anointed as captains who drafted their respective teams for the exhibition contest. The All-Stars were on the court Saturday for team practices, which provided fans a look at any chemistry and players’ footwear.
For Antetokounmpo, a Nike brand athlete, it meant stepping out in a Nike Zoom Kobe 4. While a Protro model released during All-Star Weekend, specifically the ‘Draft Day’ colorway, the pair Antetokounmpo wore was white/red.
It’s a general release from the time Bryant’s signature line was on its fourth model, but one Antetokounmpo explained has sentimental meaning, via the Bucks’ Twitter account:
“Back in the day, Thanasis got a deal in Greece with a team called… It doesn’t matter what it’s called. But he got this pair of shoes — Kobe 4. He was 18, I was 16, we were kind of the same height and wore the same size at the time. He had a lot of pairs of shoes and he was willing to share these with me, because I loved Kobe at the time. He used to wear them some games, I would wear them other games. So basically, I’m wearing this shoe in the All-Star Game so I can say thank you to Thanasis for sharing these shoes with me.”
Bryant wore a red-based Kobe 4 for the 2009 All-Star Game in Los Angeles.
Family importance to Antetokounmpo has been on full display in Charlotte as he’s been joined by brothers, Thanasis and Kostas. The trio was sitting courtside for All-Star Saturday Night as Khris Middleton competed in the 3-point Contest.
Meanwhile, Antetokounmpo has worn various model’s from Bryant’s line with Nike but will soon begin playing in his own signature model. “They’re going to be awesome, man,” he said at All-Star Game Media Day. “They’re going to be awesome.
“I don’t think I can give away too much, but first reaction, amazing grip, it’s going to be safe for your ankles and feet. What else can I say? And crazy designs.”
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