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NBA Apparel: Who’s next?

Our top picks for the next signature sneaker athlete in each major basketball brand.

WNBA: Finals-Los Angeles Sparks at Minnesota Lynx Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Below is a list of the top athletes each major basketball brand should be considering to be their next signature athlete. Signing athletes to their own sneaker is a risky deal. The potential upside could mean signing a player like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, or Steph Curry. But if they sign the wrong athelte, they could wind up in a situation similar to that of Derrick Rose and Adidas.

Jordan Brand: Maya Moore

WNBA: Finals-Los Angeles Sparks at Minnesota Lynx Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Hands down, Maya Moore should be Jordan Brand’s next signature athlete. She has four rings (‘11, ‘13, ‘15, ‘17), 2011 ROY, 2013 Finals MVP, 2014 League MVP, and five WNBA All Star Appearances. Aside from her stats, she also happens to be the most well-known WNBA player by a significant margin.

It’s almost 2018 and it’s time for a brand to make a signature sneaker for a WNBA player. And as Micheal says, we can’t accept them not trying. It’s time for Jordan Brand to make it happen.

Other Jordan Brand athletes under consideration should be: no one.

Nike: Giannis Antetokounmpo

NBA: Utah Jazz at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

If you’ve seen any highlights from this guy, you know what I’m talking about. He’s plays as if he’s the child of both LeBron James and Kevin Durant (both of which happen to have successful Nike signature lines) and this seems like a no-brainer.

Other Nike athletes under consideration should be: Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons, Devin Booker, and DeMarcus Cousins.

ADIDAS: Joel Embiid/Kristaps Porzingis

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Minnesota Timberwolves Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid is having a great season this year with 23.7 ppg, 11.1 rpg, and 3.4 apg. In Philly, he’s surrounded with a young core that has the potential to remain in the conversation for years to come. He’s an outspoken guy, making him familiar to the public. Downsides for Embiid include injuries and the chance that teammate Ben Simmons simply explodes.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at New York Knicks Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Kristaps Porzingis is the main guy in the garden. This year, he is averaging 26 ppg, 6.8 rpg and shoots 40% from 3. Being the king of New York has to count for something in ADIDAS’s eyes, and it doesn’t look like this unicorn is going anywhere. Downsides for Porzingis include his coolness factor, and injuries.

Other ADIDAS athletes under consideration should be: Kyle Lowry, Andrew Wiggins, Candace Parker, and Brandon Ingram.


Aside from Stephen Curry, Under Armour doesn’t sponsor any players with enough status for there to even be an argument here. Their goal for 2018 should be to sign another All Star or potential All Star athlete.