Throughout a typical common season, P.J. Tucker spends his off days trying out sneaker outlets, it doesn’t matter what metropolis he’s in. When the NBA season was placed on maintain, Tucker’s off-day buying journeys got here to a halt.
However that did not cease his buying sprees.
“I’ve purchased extra sneakers through the coronavirus than I ever have,” Tucker stated with amusing. “In all probability in my total life.”
Tucker, identified across the NBA because the league’s most prolific sneakerhead, spent numerous hours through the time when group amenities had been shut down checking eBay so as to add to his assortment.
Final month, Tucker really flipped the script. As an alternative of shopping for sneakers at public sale, he bought them, auctioning off previous game-worn playoff sneakers on the Houston Rockets’ cell app, as a part of the group’s efforts to supply aid to native Houston organizations impacted by the coronavirus.
In early April, he additionally launched an attire capsule assortment with The Higher Technology, an upcoming Houston boutique, to boost cash for the native Houston Meals Financial institution and profit group members in want.
Nonetheless, it is buying that has been filling most of Tucker’s time over the previous 4 months.
“I have been bored,” he stated. “I’ve simply been speaking to folks on-line [tracking down shoes], and it has been loopy. It is all I have been doing.”
Tucker performs in dimension 14 pairs, however he wears each dimension 13 and 14 casually. The bigger sizes make for a prolonged search on the subject of discovering most limited-edition fashions.
“I do not know anyone that buys extra sneakers on eBay than me,” he joked. “I like eBay as a result of I can all the time discover uncommon gems in my dimension. I all the time have upwards of 40 sneakers in my cart at any given time.”
As he was packing for the NBA’s restart in Orlando, Tucker was unsure if he’d be capable of obtain packages whereas within the bubble, so he went “all-in,” simply in case, bringing greater than 80 pairs with him for what might find yourself being a three-month keep ought to the Rockets attain the NBA Finals.
“I am bringing the large boy out for Orlando, I am not gonna lie,” he stated as he was packing, with amusing. “The large 24 [pair] case joint. I am bringing that. I bought to! Every little thing wants to come back Day One.”
As soon as settled in Orlando, gamers realized there was certainly a protocol in place to obtain packages. Surprisingly, Tucker’s first supply was no more sneakers, however an 85-inch TV for his room at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.
Now that the league’s reigning footwear champ will not be going through a monthslong hiatus from sneaker buying, he’s again to hawking eBay listings, sharing this handful of elusive fashions with ESPN that he simply can not seem to observe down in his years of accumulating.
Nike Air Complete Foamposite Max – White / Black
Although the then-San Antonio Spurs rookie solely wore them for the primary two rounds of the 1998 playoffs, the Complete Foamposite Max has since develop into often called “The Tim Duncans.”
“That shoe is iconic the place I am from,” Tucker stated. “That is an East Coast [staple]. We used to put on the Foamposites and Nike Boots. Foams, that is what we wore. It is important winter put on.”
With an indestructible Foamposite materials higher, the shoe is most identified for its molded metallic silver colorway. Tucker had been looking for the white-and-black version, although, which is nearer to the pair that Duncan really performed in and was final rereleased in 2004.
“It is the important hoop shoe you can kill it off courtroom and kill it on courtroom,” he stated. “That shoe is likely one of the cleanest, dopest sneakers ever made, simply.”
After a hunt lasting years, as luck would have it, Tucker discovered to a pair simply days after chatting with ESPN by cellphone. It ended up being the primary shoe he wore in Orlando, arriving to the bubble in type.
Nike Air Max CW – Black / White / Pink
One other certainly one of Tucker’s long-lost favorites is the lone signature mannequin of Chris Webber’s short-lived time with the Swoosh.
“That entire period of Chris Webber with Nike was, to me, the golden period,” Tucker stated. “All people was getting their very own signature shoe. Chris Webber, Penny [Hardaway] and [Charles] Barkley, that was the best and my favourite time for Nike Basketball. Every little thing was so revolutionary, and no person’s shoe seemed the identical.”
Although he has been capable of finding a number of colorways of the re-badged “Air Max Sensation” from every of the instances Nike has rereleased them through the years, Tucker remains to be attempting to get his arms on the Washington Bullets colorway from 1995, with Webber’s equally short-lived #2 featured alongside the heel tab. The heel on solely the unique three colorways additionally consists of Webber’s signature “CW” basketball hoop emblem.
Nike Vis Zoom Uptempo – Black / White / Royal
Whereas the signature fashions of the 1990s period may need been made for the NBA hardwood, the group sneakers worn the NCAA’s powerhouse applications typically are extra remembered by college than by participant.
“The Duke joints!” Tucker blurts out when naming the third pair on his must-have listing.
Despite the fact that Sean Elliott tiptoed the San Antonio sidelines within the Vis Zoom Uptempo for his “Memorial Day Miracle” go-ahead shot, and Tim Duncan additionally wore them in white and black through the Spurs’ 1999 championship run, it was the black-and-royal Blue Devils colorway that Tucker remembers most from his time rising up in Raleigh, North Carolina.
“I had a pair in highschool and trashed these,” he laughed. “I hooped in these a lot.”
Nike Zoom Flightposite 1 TB – Black / White / Pink
Tucker’s nostalgia for his favourite faculty groups on the flip of the century additionally has led him down a unending quest to search out the zip-shrouded Flightposite, one other Nike Basketball traditional, in uncommon colorways.
“When Maryland had them!” he stated. “A dude that went to my highschool, Chris Wilcox, performed at Maryland. The guards, Juan Dixon and Drew Nicholas, and [forward] Terence Morris all had them. That was a traditional time.”
The shoe was most identified for its iridescent inexperienced and metallic purple colorways, with faculties sporting simplified black-and-white pairs with coloration accents alongside the underside.
“That was my sophomore-year shoe in highschool, and our colours had been inexperienced and gold, so we had the navy inexperienced Flightposites,” Tucker stated. “They had been so sick with that uniform.”
Nike Air Max 1 ‘Parra’ Amsterdam F&F
Not the whole lot on Tucker’s listing is a basketball sneaker.
In almost each interview he has executed over the previous a number of years, Tucker has particularly talked about an off-court shoe from 2005 that he needs.
“My No. 1 is the ‘Parra’ Netherlands family and friends Air Max 1,” he stated. “That is my No. 1 shoe. I nonetheless cannot discover it, have not discovered it, and I nonetheless need it.”
Launched 15 years in the past as a collaboration between Nike and Dutch artist Parra, the retro working shoe options hues of burgundy, pink and turquoise, colours seen in Parra’s beloved character and font-driven paintings.
Solely round 200 pairs had been initially launched — in Paris, Berlin, London and Amsterdam — and so they had been fetching as a lot as $5,000 per pair greater than a decade later. It has been stated that 11.5 was the most important dimension made, main Tucker to search for the much more uncommon “Pals & Household” version, a particular batch of simply 24 pairs that includes Parra’s script signature alongside the toe. That model can run for almost twice as a lot on the resale market. The rumor is that two pairs had been made in bigger sizes, although Tucker has but to search out one.
“I’ve by no means seen a 13 in these,” he sighed. “I’ve by no means even heard somebody say that they had them and bought them or something. I’ve by no means heard of them in my dimension. Even the highest guys I do know, no person has ’em. Guys which can be 13 collectors — no person has ’em. I gotta get these.”
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