Shaquille O’Neal has invited Devin Booker to join Reebok after the Phoenix Suns star complained about the rollout of his Nike sneaker on Instagram.
Booker’s complaint, or complaint by proxy, came via an Instagram comment he left under a post from Complex Sneakers with the text, “Is Nike fumbling the D Book 1 launch?” His comment read, “A lot of people feel the same way,” along with the emoji face with a tear drop.
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Nike revealed Booker’s first signature sneaker, the Book 1, in September but has yet to launch the sneaker globally. The only release thus far came through a SNKRS Pass initiative in December at Art Basel, where those in the area had the opportunity to enter a draw for purchase locally.
Although Nike has given lip service to the Book 1’s lifestyle appeal, a quality that hasn’t been consistent in basketball sneakers for the last decade or so, the reception among sneakerheads has been mixed. Some tout the shoe for a look easily adopted for everyday wear, while others have criticized it for looking too much like an Air Force 1 and not standing on its own legs.
O’Neil was appointed as Reebok’s president of basketball in November after he had already become the second largest investor in its parent company, Authentic Brands Group. Both parties have stressed that the role is far from ceremonial, as Reebok hopes to reenter the basketball space and recapture its status from the ’90s and ’00s.
O’Neal’s own signature sneakers have been a high point for Reebok, as have those of Allen Iverson, who is serving as vice president of basketball under his fellow Hall of Famer.
About the Author:
Ian Servantes is a Senior Trending News Editor for Footwear News specializing in sneaker coverage. He’s previously reported on streetwear and sneakers at Input and Highsnobiety after beginning his career on the pop culture beat. He subscribes to the idea that “ball is life” and doesn’t fuss over his kicks getting dirty.
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