LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers take the court for their first meaningful game Thursday night as they open the 2018-19 NBA season on the road with a matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers.
To little surprise, James is expected to be outfitted with a shoe befitting of the game’s best player. Taking advantage of the NBA’s relaxed rules on footwear, James is due to wear the Nike LeBron 16 “King.”
Sporting a burgundy Battleknit 2.0 upper, the shoe is accompanied by a cheetah-print design on the heel. The model is inspired by the African meaning of James’ name and his first poster with Nike that saw him sitting on a throne surrounded by lion heads.
That quickly became synonymous with James’ signature line, as a lion design appeared on his second shoe with Nike. From then on, it’s been incorporated in various means, though often on the tongue of the shoe.
For the LeBron 16, pairs that have released thus far feature a the head of a lion on the heel of the left shoe. However, the “King” version sees it on both tongues.
Although the NBA still had color restrictions in place, James wore 51 different versions of the Nike LeBron 15. It stands to reason he will surpass that number in his new model this season with the Lakers.
— Matthew Moreno (@MMoreno1015) October 18, 2018
During preseason and for most practices, James has stuck with wearing the LeBron 16 “Oreo” colorway.
The “King” model released at select Nike stores Thursday morning, and will be available via the SNKRS app at 7:30 p.m. PT.
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