Tuesday’s game between the Houston Rockets and the Portland Trail Blazers is interesting on a number of levels. First and foremost, the Blazers put a 13-game winning streak on the line against the team with the best record in the league (plus its own five-game winning streak) and, beyond that, Houston and Portland could be providing observers with a preview of a second round Western Conference Playoff series.
However, there is another headline monitor during the game, as it will be the debut of Chris Paul’s 11th signature sneaker. It was revealed prior to tip-off that Paul will be wearing the Jordan CP3.XI. The first colorway on display will be called, appropriately enough, Rocket Fuel.
Paul isn’t necessarily known for sneaker focus, especially when compared to some other NBA superstars but, prior to the contest, he spoke with Jarrel Harris of Sports Illustrated’s The Crossover and shed light on what went into these particular kicks.
In addition to the plain impressiveness of simply having 11 different signature sneakers, Paul seems to be quite involved in the design to the point of competitiveness, both with sales and on-court performance.
“I pay attention to it. At the end of the day you hope your shoe sales obviously and you want it to perform. The biggest thing for me is performance and over the years a lot of college teams and players have worn them but I know what it is going to do for me on the court. It’s crazy I talk about this all of the time but when I make a move going into the lanes and I stop, I know I am going to stop but the guy who is guarding me 9 times out of 10 times, I know his shoes weren’t made for him, so he is going to roll over in his shoes just enough for me to step back and get my shot off.”
This feels a lot like Paul, who is well known for his fire on the hardwood, and it makes complete sense that he would want every little edge to provide an advantage over any opponent. It remains to be seen as to how this particular sneaker will fly off the shelves but, given the extra attention being paid to Paul, James Harden and the Rockets right now, it seems possible that exposure will work wonders.