While their friendship has endured rocky times since, Jay Z and Kanye West are forever remembered and linked for their work on the critically acclaimed “Watch the Throne” CD that released Aug. 8, 2011.
The duo hit the road for a world tour, with Miami among the several stops. At the time it was home to LeBron James as he was in a second season with the Heat. James is close with Jay Z, so he naturally attended the concert at American Airlines Arena.
With some help from Nike and artist Gabriel Urist, James presented Jay Z and West with “Watch the Throne” customized pairs of his signature Nike LeBron 9. James naturally wore the shoe himself to the concert.
The model never reached retail, but during 2019 NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte, Nike brought back the design on James’ current signature model, the Nike LeBron 16. The “King’s Throne” colorway launched via the Nike LeBron Watch program, and at select retailers days after All-Star Weekend.
Having two pairs of shoes that pay homage to the CD is something James takes great pride in, via Bleacher Report:
Jay and Kanye got together and made one of the best albums in hip hop that we have ever seen. For me to be able to have a shoe to collaborate with that moment is huge.”
Prior to the recent release of the LeBron 16, a “Watch the Throne” theme was incorporated on a Nike Zoom LeBron Soldier VIII that was made available for purchase. James then had his LeBron 11 outfitted with the gold accents and floral detailing for a player exclusive, which surfaced after he scored a career-high 61 points.
Nike LeBron’s Watch began last season as a means of merging inspired on-court colorways and digital engagement through the brand’s SNKRS app. The program returned this season with a launch of the LeBron 16 “SB White,” which was an update to a player-exclusive Nike Zoom LeBron III that represents James’ Superman-like on-court attributes.
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