With 20 iterations of the Reebok Question releasing this year, the first joints after the OG drop are revealed in the ‘Unworn’ edition. Damn near any Question release will get an earnest look from me, and seeing as how crazy Golden State is playing right now, these will go quicker than usual. Decked out in sport yellow and collegiate navy, Reebok rehashed a colorway that the 2016 Basketball Hall of Fame finalist never actually hit the court wearing. And it was all because of peer pressure.
The shoe was supposed to be Iverson’s “Momma I made it” statement shoe for the 2000 NBA All-Star Game that went down in the Bay Area and donned the colors of the Warriors unis at the time. The idea was that designers would come up with a special version of the Question in the colors of the host city. As the story goes, when Reebok Vice President Todd Krinsky approached AI with the sample and Iverson essentially said “Hell yeah, I’ll wear those.” On that word, 15,000 pairs made their way to retailers and everything was a go. But come game day, one of the most feared guards of that era had a change of heart because he was getting clowned in the locker room.
“Nowadays, everybody does it. The wilder the shoe, the better,” Krinsky told to Sole Collectorr back in 2009. “One cat’s wearing gold. Some dudes wear one yellow and the left is red. Now it’s common, but back then people weren’t as crazy.” Fair point. Everyone in the early 2000s was on the all-matching everything wave and, more specifically, Iverson thought the shoes might mess up his game.
As such, Jewels the rapper wore his then current model, the black Answer 3s, even after Krinsky begged and pleaded for him to rock the bright kicks. He even called in Momma Iverson to help. “She tries to talk to him at halftime, and he’s like, ‘I’m not wearing that shoe; I ain’t wearing that shoe.’”
Years after the fact, the Vector exec can look back and laugh at that moment. Although he said retailers were initially blowing his phone up when the Sixers guard opted not to wear the shoes, everyone was happy after the kicks sold through pretty well, thanks in part to Allen’s game high 26 points in the national spotlight. But, it all could’ve been a big disaster. “That’s the gift and curse of A.I.,” said Krinsky. “We love him for being so real and being his own man.”
The Reebok Question ‘Unworn’ returns Saturday, February 20 at Reebok.com and Finish Line with retail set at $140. Watch the money roll in as the cult classic makes its reappearance for retro shoe heads.