Draymond Green wants to destroy LeBron James whenever they face each other on the basketball court. But off the floor, they are business partners and teammates.
Yet despite the fact they are both Nike clients, the 2017 Defensive Player of the Year doesn’t support the Lakers superstar when it comes to the shoes he puts on his feet.
“Early on in my career I used to wear LeBrons, and I was like, ‘So? They’re comfortable,'” Draymond explained to Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report. “And then as I started to grow and I’m into my second and third year and I’m like, ‘I’m battling with this dude. I can’t wear these shoes anymore when I’m going up against him.'”
This is why Draymond doesn’t allow Kevon Looney to wear James Harden’s signature shoes when the Warriors face the Rockets.
“When we’re playing against Houston, Loon is switching on James a lot,” the three-time All-Star told B/R. “If you’re out there playing against him in his shoe, he’s got you dominated already.”
The biggest variable in Draymond’s thought process, however, is the businessman inside of him.
“If you’re always in another guy’s signature shoe, how will a shoe company ever look for you to possibly get your own?” the three-time champion added. “That’s the real reason I stopped.
“I would’ve continued to wear LeBrons and just not worn them against him. But if I’m in another guy’s shoe, they’ll never look at me that way.”
Draymond doesn’t yet have a signature shoe, but Klay Thompson does through Anta. And he didn’t like seeing Warriors rookie Jacob Evans rocking Rajon Rondo’s signature shoe with the Chinese company.
“Klay definitely was on me to join the Anta family,” Evans told B/R. “He was just telling me about the company, and the gear, how the shoe felt, the perks in his deal and his trips to China.
“Once I started wearing his shoe in practice, he’d ask me all the time how they felt, if I liked them. He was just making sure I was happy. He made sure they were sending me enough gear and that if I needed more gear just to let him know and they’ll get it done.”
As the Warriors have three guys with signature shoes on their team (Klay – Anta, Steph – Under Armour, Kevin Durant – Nike), the shoe politics must clearly be a source of daily fodder for the defending champs.