Live Auction: adidas SM TS Commander LT Halloween
Buy It Now: $109.99
With all due respect to Ray Allen and deference to Rasheed Wallace, the Tim Duncan adidas TS Commanders are the decade’s best player exclusive sneaker. The Sheed is untouchable, but an anachronism is not fair to weigh an all-time great with real-time sneakers. Allen’s team-specific Jordans are head and shoulders above Mike Bibby‘s purple abominations and remain special. But they’re bland or worse compared to the Duncan skeleton shoe.
Duncan’s sneaker is a hideous black adidas, released in 2009, with a clear Concord Jordan XI-type sole and feet bones drawn above and below the shoe. Those three things make the shoe borderline unwearable, but they also make it a perfect reflection of Duncan.
Duncan, the sure-bet, shoo-in Hall of Famer, is a multiple champion and arguably the best power forward in NBA history. He’s a would-be Olympic swimmer turned galeophobe turned Wooden Award winner turned 1-1 pick. He’s a famously private athlete, though we do know he enjoys Dungeons & Dragons and jousting, and presumably does both in Texas. He has a Merlin tattoo and a haircut that looks like he gets it in the poolhouse once a month and before Lakers games. Despite playing excellent interior defense on a 94-game average over his career, he’s not considered tough.
But his game is tough as a skeleton – bare, fundamentally sound and without wasted movement. That trusty bank shot looks as tough and ugly to a defender as that skull-sole does to anyone outside Medina and Bexar counties. Neither the shot nor the shoe are pretty, but both get it done, and both are Tim Duncan.