Zion Williamson hasn’t played an NBA game yet, but the former Duke standout may already be in line to get an honor reserved for the biggest names in the sport. A new piece by Nick DePaula of ESPN highlighted the various ups and downs that came as sneaker companies made their pitches to Williamson in recent months, a lengthy saga that ended with him putting pen to paper on a deal with Jordan Brand.
Williamson got, per reports, the largest sneaker deal ever given to a rookie. But DePaula brings word that’s not all Williamson got from Nike, because the company’s pitch included a potential signature sneaker that could come as early as the 2020 NBA All-Star Game.
Though the Swoosh was present, the plan from the start was for this to be a Jordan Brand pitch, grounded in the belief that Williamson could take the $3 billion sub-brand of Nike Inc. centered around the Air Jordan line to even greater heights. He would potentially wear the upcoming Air Jordan 34, the brand’s flagship annual model that Michael Jordan himself made famous during his playing career. Eventually, he would receive his own signature Jordan Brand model, with a reveal of that sneaker coming as early as All-Star Weekend in Chicago, Jordan’s home for most of his professional playing career.
Plans can change, especially in the midst of something as gigantic as Williamson’s sneaker negotiations, so who knows if this timeline isn’t accurate. If this is the case, though, dropping something that weekend would make all the sense in the world. Mid-February isn’t exactly a huge time of year for new signature sneaker releases, plus if he opts to compete in this, there may not be a better time for Williamson’s first kicks to drop while he’s in the Slam Dunk Contest.
The Zion 1s — or whatever they end up getting called — have the potential to be gigantic sellers for Jordan Brand due to all the excitement that surrounds Williamson. If Nike did, indeed, say he’ll get them as early as All-Star 2020, we may only be six or so months away from seeing them.