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
Carmelo Anthony, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

Pick Analysis. AVIA 911 Shoe. 1987. player. 34. Scouting Report. Clyde Drexler. 8

Shoe: AVIA 911

Older fans are waiting for their AOL dial-up to connect, and preparing to riot me as we speak.

Let’s get this out of the way: throughout his playing career, Drexler was nothing short of spectacular. Jordan-stories aside, Drexler dominated the NBA scene for a full-decade and some change. If you can’t appreciate a player who somehow made 10 All-Star Games while dribbling with his head down, then in the words of Grant Napear, you don’t like NBA basketball(!)

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In a sense, Drexler was a lot like new Portland Trail Blazers star, Damian Lillard. He enjoyed the art of creating separation from his peers both on-and-off the floor.

Other-league stars like the NFL’s Walter Payton and William “Refrigerator” Perry, and baseball’s Ozzie Smith wore KangaRoos, but in the NBA, Drexler was about as rare as a Ben Simmons three-point attempt.

By 1987, the year after his first All-Star Game, Drexler was taking the next step in his NBA career, and that step came in different shoes — the Avia brand.

In his 2004 autobiography, Clyde the Glide, with Kerry Eggers, he mentioned that the brand also included Scottie Pippen and John Stockton, but he soon became the last man standing.

The shoes themselves are actually very aesthetically-pleasing, especially for this era. They look very similar to Patrick Ewing’s shoe, which, from personal experience, I can say balanced sleek design and comfort to a tee. You don’t play 43,109 minutes and become an all-time great in bad shoes, that’s for sure. They lack in beauty to some of the shoes on this list, but they’re certainly an elite one in league history.

2019. Air Jordan 34. Carmelo Anthony. 7. player. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. 34

Shoe: Air Jordan 34

Earlier this week, Rip City Project’s Stevie Cozens provided a piece on Carmelo Anthony becoming the first Jordan Brand athlete in history. Since entering the NBA in 2003-04, Anthony has had 13 different signature shoes drop in homage. As Anthony’s role decreased in 2017-18, the signature shoe creation did, too.

Anthony had a number of Jordans that could have made the higher portion of this list. In New York, the Melo M9 shoe, aided by one of his best Playoff runs, could’ve been here, as could some of the kicks he laced up during his Denver days. But since joining the Portland Trail Blazers, he’s poured on bucket-after-bucket in the 34th edition of the Air Jordan shoe.

This version of the Air Jordan shoe isn’t as iconic as the earlier versions Jordan played in, but they’re certainly a creative, fun-to-consider shoe.

The twinge of black on the right toe is a solid touch, and stars of the new generation — Zion Williamson, Jayson Tatum, Rui Hachimura, and even WNBA rising stars like Kia Nurse and Asia Durr — have taken a liking. It’s not quite “legendary” yet, but in the coming years, it could be one we remember much more fondly.