To celebrate Foot Locker’s mark of greatness, over the next month NBA.com will explore the stories of iconic basketball players, their journey to having their own iconic sneakers, and the stories and inspiration behind their creations.
Today it’s Paul George.
Behind the logo: GIANNIS | WESTBROOK | SION | JAMES
Paul George’s path to a signature shoe was different from most.
Typically, there is an aura about players who land signature shoe deals. It almost looks like fate. That wasn’t exactly the case for George, an unranked high school rookie who didn’t receive a Division I offer before choosing to play at Fresno State University.
Progressing to No. 10 overall pick in the NBA Draft, George was finally starting to be seen as the player he could be, but even then he didn’t seem like the type of player who would clinch his own. sneakers.
MORE: Create your own Nike logo and win with Foot Locker’s brand of greatness
George was a Nike guy from the second he stepped into the NBA, rocking a variety of standard models or signature lines from other players. He was All-Rookie his first season and showed even more promise in his second season, but the third year is when we really saw the version of the player George would become.
In 2013, at age 22, George was named All-Star for the first time in his career while also earning Most Improved Player of the Year honors. Leading his Indiana Pacers on a surprising run to the Eastern Conference Finals, taking LeBron James and the Miami Heat Big 3 to seven games, George was turning into a superstar.
He was an All-Star again the following season, taking the Pacers to the conference finals for the second year in a row. Against James and the Heat, a rivalry began to form. Miami would handle business against George and Indiana, but it was now clear that the former non-star high school rookie was one of the best players in the best league in the world.
Clashing with LeBron on one of the NBA’s biggest stages, George captured the attention of the basketball world. And while he had worked his way up to the Nike Special Edition, featuring his own “PG” logo, he still only wore the standard models from their latest line of sneakers.
It wasn’t until George turned six – and an All-Rookie selection, a Most Improved Player of the Year award, three All-Stars nominations, three All-Defensive Team selections, three All-NBA selections and two finals of the Eastern Conference. – to his credit that he was finally awarded by Nike with his own signature shoe.
In 2016, George and Nike launched the PG1s, which included a remake of his personal logo better suited to his signature line.
The logo being his initials “PG” in the form of a bow tie was a curious choice, but the personalized message behind it tied it all together.
Nike and George describes the logo like, “a reminder of its unique blend of simplicity and sophistication.” The example to go with the motto: George drives a Ferrari, but keeps a fishing rod in the back of his car in case he spots a spot to fish.
His love for fishing, which he adopted over time with his father, was well represented in the design of his first signature model. The shoe’s traction pad looked like fish scales and its “2K17” colorway even included a peach bob on the tongue.
The same year George launched his first signature shoe, he also made the cover of NBA 2K17, his favorite video game.
It’s right that George associates his love for video games with his signature line, well known as the best player in the NBA today. While his 2K17 model of the PG1s was the start, things really took off when he released the PG2s in 2017.
The PG2s debuted in a PS2-themed colourway, which is arguably the most popular version of any model in George’s signature line. Its PG logo on one tongue and the Playstation logo on the other are just the beginning of the many ways George paid homage to his favorite gaming system.
The video game’s ties continued as its signature sneaker line continued, debuting its PG2.5 for the first time at the E3 Fortnite tournament in 2018.
George has since released three more styles of his signature shoe: the PG3 in 2019, the PG4 in 2020, and most recently the PG5s he donned last season when the LA Clippers made it to the Western Conference Finals.
While there hasn’t been a release date for the PG6s, it’s safe to assume these will be on their way in the future, as George has one of the more popular signature lines based on both on style and performance on the pitch.
His path to a signature sneaker may not have been orthodox, but it’s been hard-earned and inspiring to all the unstated rookies who think they can someday have their own sneaker, too.
Head toward markofgreatness.com and design your signature logo and share it on social media using the hashtag #markofgreatness.
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