Fred VanVleet has done an admirable job capitalizing off of his success with the Toronto Raptors during their NBA Finals win last season. The fourth-year guard leads the NBA in minutes per game (38.5) and is putting up career-highs with 17.5 points, 7.6 assists, and 1.6 steals a night while sliding into the team’s starting lineup.
VanVleet has done all of this wearing AND1 sneakers. The company was a favorite of everyone who loved the Mixtape Tour (everyone loved the Mixtape Tour) and AND1’s easily recognizable graphic t-shirts that featured a faceless hooper trash-talking opponents. Still, outside of bringing back Kevin Garnett — who was once the face of AND1 — as its creative director last year, it hasn’t exactly made headlines in recent years.
But thanks to VanVleet, AND1 has been getting a little more love lately, and now, the Raptors guard is following in Garnett’s footsteps and becoming the face of the company. News of the partnership comes via Nick DePaula of ESPN.
Raptors guard @FredVanVleet has signed a shoe deal with AND1 to become the current face of the brand.
He’s been playing in the new Attack 2.0 model while averaging 17 points & 7.6 assists per game. pic.twitter.com/c6mHngg6CW
— Nick DePaula (@NickDePaula) November 16, 2019
The official AND1 Twitter account appeared to confirm the news soon after.
It would be pretty cool if VanVleet became the latest in a collection of guys to kick-start an AND1 revival, as the company was a major part of basketball culture in the ’90s and for part of the ’00s. Most importantly, I would like it if those t-shirts came back, because they were tremendous.