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Brand: Nike

Model: Zoom Freak 1

Key Features: Double-stacked Zoom units under the heel for extra cushioning, internal containment system for stability and control, traction pattern for improved grip, rubber clip extending from the outsole for lateral support, padded collar, molded “I AM MY FATHER’S LEGACY” text on the rubber outsole, Antetokounmpo’s signature logo and number details, and a foam midsole.

Release Date: June 29

Price: TBC

Buy: Nike and select retailers like DICK’s

Editor’s Notes: Following teasers, tomorrow Nike is dropping the debut signature sneaker of 2019 NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Zoom Freak 1.

Antetokounmpo, whose nickname is the “Greek Freak,” was hands-on during the Zoom Freak 1’s design process, going all the way back to a visit to Nike HQ in November 2017. “I didn’t know anything about this process before today,” Giannis said of his appointment that day. As well as discussing his signature shoe, that visit also involved plans to build the Antetokounmpo brand, including apparel, footwear, and logo design.

One of the first things Nike chose to address with the sneaker was the player’s rangy movement. “He’s using space with great efficiency,” says Ross Klein, Nike senior creative director for basketball footwear. “He uses length to take defenders off of their position. In a Euro step, for example, he can pull a defender one way and, because his left step — the lethal step — is so long, he cuts a huge, almost two-step advantage.”

To complement Antetokounmpo’s game, the Zoom Freak 1 features a multidirectional traction pattern that aids positioning. An internal containment system helps keep the foot in place, while a rubber clip serves as lateral support from the outsole up through the midsole. The double-stacked Zoom unit under the heel, meanwhile, offers unmatched responsiveness and cushioning.

Various design aspects of the sneaker honor one of Antetokounmpo’s favorite footwear lines. “Since I was little, I have been wearing Kobe shoes,” he says. “The fit, feel, and function has always been comfortable for me.”

As Nike worked on the Antetokounmpo line, it had to come up with a full range of logos, patterns, and typography, taking into consideration the player’s background and rise to stardom. The brand looked to Ancient Greece for inspiration. The use of Greek fret patterns points to his family’s path from Nigeria to Greece and then from Athens to Milwaukee, where he now plays. In addition to the key logo and his own typography, Antetokounmpo has been given a trio of tertiary logos, including a number 34 that references the Greek flag.

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Nike Zoom Freak 1 and the player’s initial apparel line drop tomorrow, June 29.

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