Nike LeBron 12 Launch Delayed Due To “Small Cosmetic Issue”

When LeBron James takes the court for the first time during the 2014-15 NBA season, he’ll likely be wearing the latest in his signature line, the Nike LeBron 12. Unfortunately, fans in China and the United States might have to wait longer than expected after the launch was delayed due to a “small cosmetic issue” Nike relayed yesterday.

The Nike LeBron 12 was supposed to be released in China yesterday and in the United States on October 11. But both dates will be pushed back, though it’s unclear how long the delay might extend.

[RELATED: Behind the scenes of the Nike LeBron 12 launch]

Here’s the full statement from Nike:

Product quality is a priority for Nike. Due to a small cosmetic issue with some of the LEBRON 12 shoes we have delayed the initial retail launch that was scheduled for China on October 1, and the global launch that was scheduled for October 11. We will communicate an update on the retail date as soon as possible.

ESPN’s Darren Rovell believes the delay might have to do with James’ switch from the No. 6 jersey he wore with the Heat to the old No. 23 he switched back to after asking fans which number he should wear for his return.

Here’s Rovell speculating:

Since the shoes had already gone into production before James switched from the Miami Heat to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and subsequently switched numbers from No. 6 to No. 23, one thought is that Nike needs to switch out the “6” with the “23” on a visible tag on the back of the shoe. In pictures of the shoe released by Nike last month, the back tag of the shoe says “LRJ.06.” James has frequently been called “LBJ,” but his “R” stands for Raymone, his middle name, which has rarely been referred to publicly.

There also appears to be a “6” inside one of the pods on the shoe’s sole.

Here’s the “LRJ.O6” Rovell is referring to on the NSRL:

We’ve already got a pair of the lead turquoise “NSRL” colorway, but there are plenty of others who aren’t so lucky.

“They’ll miss out on some business now,” analyst Matt Powell, of SportsOneSource, tells Rovell. “But LeBron fans will buy them when they do come out.”

Here are the other colorways coming out later in the autumn, but all the release dates will likely also get pushed back because of the small cosmetic issue. We’ll keep you posted when we hear about the new dates:

Will the delay cost Nike?

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