Months after free agency brought about several changes, Opening Night of the 2019-20 NBA season arrives Tuesday. The Los Angeles Lakers, now led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, tip off the season against the new-look L.A. Clippers that now boast a roster with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.
Of course, George will be sidelined for the highly-anticipated matchup as he continues to recover from surgery on both shoulders. George’s presence will still be felt throughout the league by way of his signature Nike shoe, the PG3.
It was among the models offered to 23 players to design custom sneakers via Nike By You for Opening Week. Nike unveiled the program to nine rookies and sophomores — including Kyle Kuzma — for the first week of the 2018-19 season.
Kostas Antetokounmpo participated this year, naturally electing to customize his brother, Giannis’, signature shoe: the Zoom Freak 1. Also available as options were the Kyrie 5 and KD12.
Antetokounmpo outfitted the Greek Freak 1 with a yellow upper complete with a purple tongue, white outsole and collar. His initials replaced Giannis’ logo at the top of the tongue.
The Lakers signed Antetokounmpo to a two-way contract back in July, fueling speculation the team was looking to make an early impression with the family before the perennial MVP candidate potentially becomes a free agent.
A similar perception was placed on the Lakers after when they signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope after the Detroit Pistons withdrew their qualifying offer and he became an unrestricted free agent. Caldwell-Pope is represented by Rich Paul and Klutch Sports, which of course is the same for James.
Nike has not announced formal plans for shoes James or Davis will wear on Opening Night or for the first stretch of games. James presumably will be in a version of his recently released Nike LeBron 17, while Davis figures to keep with wearing a pair from the Kobe Bryant signature line.