Portland Trail Blazers: Ranking the 10 most iconic signature shoes

LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Portland Trail Blazers
Evan Turner, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Sebastian Telfair. adidas Game Day Lightning. 2004. 10. player. 34

Shoe: adidas Game Day Lightning

Before he had even declared his intention to join the NBA Draft, high school phenom Sebastian Telfair was inking deals to set up his place in basketball lore. In the spring of 2004, Telfair, and then-NBA Most Valuable Player Kevin Garnett signed shoe deals with adidas, setting them up to be two of the posterboys for the new regime.

As ESPN.com reported at the time, Telfair’s deal with adidas was set to provide him $1 million to $2 million annually, and more than $15 million in total.

One has to remember: this came during the era of “street cred,” and flash-and-flare ball, something Telfair oozed during his time at Abraham Lincoln High School. As we’ve noted previously, many saw him with the same wide-eyed intrigue as they did with LeBron James just two years prior.

‘Bassy — as he went by — was next in line to carry the Coney Island throne behind He Got Game’s Jesus Shuttlesworth (Ray Allen, for the “youngeons”) and All-Star guard Stephon Marbury. Remember that epic LeBron James and Sebastian Telfair are about to rule the world SLAM Magazine cover? I do. Pepperidge Farms remembers, too.

Anyways, here’s a picture of the shoes themselves. They draw close comparisons to Tracy McGrady’s T-Mac 1 from 2002. Telfair didn’t quite reach the pinnacle the way some predicted, but he had a respectable career, and made history along the way.

Li-Ning Speed Series V. Evan Turner. player. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. 2019. 9. 34

Shoe: Li-Ning Speed V Series

Spend enough time discussing NBA history with older generations, and it won’t be long before they start laying on terms like: “off-the-heezy,” “fo-shizzle,” and “the bomb.” Or, a personal favorite, “You better ask somebody.”

As it relates to Evan Turner, well, you better ask somebody, especially if we’re talking Ohio State Evan Turner. In his final year as a Buckeye, Turner averaged the following: 20.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 6.0 assists on 51.9 percent from the field, 36.4 percent from deep, and 75.4 percent at the line. The rave about how good he could’ve become prompted some to draw this comparison in 2010, per ESPN.com.

"“Versatile Turner is being compared to guys such as Brandon Roy now, and I liken him to a taller Dwyane Wade, or perhaps a more polished Scottie Pippen, for his more gradual development and late-breaking ascension.”"

A more polished Scottie Pippen. Someone cue the Idris Elba hot wing cough, please?

Somewhere in between signing Shaquille O’Neal in 2006 and Dwyane Wade in 2013, Li-Ning signed Turner, who had his sights set on transforming the Philadelphia 76ers franchise around in 2011.

Turner has never been given an actual signature shoe, but he has worn some of the company’s most recognizable kicks. He’s also never quite reached superstardom, but he’s been a hand-in-glove, really-cool-shoe-in-foot bridge in both the world of basketball and the shoe sub-category. The low tops with the white midsoles are hard to go wrong with, and Turner certainly didn’t go wrong with it here.