Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is taking his talents to Converse. This morning, the former Kentucky and current Oklahoma City Thunder star announced he has signed a multi-year footwear and apparel endorsement deal with the classic sneaker brand, which is also repped by Draymond Green and Kelly Oubre Jr. Shai signed a deal with Nike before the 2018 NBA Draft, but told ESPN he made the switch to Converse so he can showcase his creativity.
“The exclusiveness of the brand, not having so many guys, and the ability to express myself on and off the court in so many different ways appeals to me so much,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “I saw some of the stuff that Kelly [Oubre Jr.] was doing and how he was able to express his personality and his vibe through his shoes. I thought it was dope.”
Converse announced the news with this video on Twitter:
— Converse (@Converse) July 8, 2020
Shai will begin wearing the brand at the Orlando restart, specifically the Converse All-Star Pro BB Low 950, a modernized design of Julius Erving’s original Pro Leather from the 1970s bearing the “Star Chevron” logo. He plans to wear a variety of colorways, but — warning — one of them is Carolina (and OKC Thunder) blue.
Converse first rose to fame in the 1970s with Erving and in the 1980s with Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Sam Bowie wore them during his days at UK, as did Joe B. Hall and Denny Crum in this iconic ad:
Maybe Shai can resurrect Kentucky’s denim unis?