I hate to be rude, but D Rose is tainted and James Harden doesn’t play defense… and defense wins what? Championships. In other words the hopes of adidas basketball is going to revolve around two guys who aren’t exactly flagship dudes. I want to be more eloquent than this, but this is how I actually see adidas basketball. The one saving grace in adidas basketball is Damian Lillard. This addition of a the Kobe X loving Kristaps, is a big move. KP grew up admiring Melo. He actually had braids like Melo when he was growing up. He’s been rocking Kobe Elites and playing with one of Nike/Jordan Brands biggest guys, but adidas was able to sign him.
Why? The easy talking point would be that he’s a big and bigs don’t sell shoes. What I think is Nike is going to be placing a lot of energy into Kyrie Irving and they are going to see a resurgence in sales of Kevin Durant’s line so the next few years of Nike Basketball are in place. Adidas is still searching for an identity. Andrew Wiggins hasn’t quite become the next LeBron and D.Rose is Kobe circa Denver era… James Harden is a caricature and now he will be playing in a character basketball system that will be fun to watch, but ultimately go no where. Kristaps is different. He’s not just a big. (I’m a Knicks fan and I booed him initially, but now I’m hopeful.) KP is a stronger Kevin Durant. There hasn’t been a White player (yep I went with the race thing, because it’s relevant here) with the marketing opportunities KP has. He plays defense, can shoot threes and can create his own shot. He has international flavor and he is in the biggest market in the world. Here are a few reasons why Kristaps is a bigger play than Harden
- Long term upside. James Harden has been in the league for 7 years. While he has about 3-4 years of high level playing left, I don’t envision him outplaying the West and winning a championship. KP is going to be one of the best players in the league for years and in 2 years the Knicks become his team.
- East Coast -West Coast marketing schemes. With Damian Lillard in Portland and KP in NYC, adidas has the ability to make a Converse styled battle series where a big and a little hold it down for their coasts. I said a few weeks ago that adidas needed to do two campaigns: Bring back the Basketball is a Brotherhood featuring their rookie class. The Lillard vs Kristaps series could recreate two classic campaigns Bird vs Magic and Bird vs Jordan. Adidas contact me on this one, with the right shoe, the Lillard vs KP, speed vs size is a perfect opportunity.
Kristaps and adidas is a solid pick up for the brand and is timely because the Knicks are primed to finally make a strong push this season, I hope. Use the source link to read more and here a few pics: