Are you ready, sneaker geeks? The Book 1’s are finally coming...
Plenty of people enjoy watching the Phoenix Suns play night in and night out and don’t pick up on the little things. And that’s okay. You love the sport and the complexities it provides. Around the sport, however, there is a unique sneaker culture. It’s something that I have grown to love about attending Suns’ games this season.
Walking around pregame, you see Kevin Ray or Jon Bloom navigating the arena dressed to the nines. You look down, however, and they are sporting their favorite pair of kicks. Jordan 1’s. Nike Kobe 4’s. Nike KD16’s. It’s the one place you can be in a suit, tie, and Nike Dunks. I love it.
You may or may not have noticed this season that Devin Booker has been running up and down the court wearing shoes you might not recognize. In the past, the Phoenix Suns’ guard has sported a variety of kicks, from the Nike Kyrie Low 1’s to Kobe 5 Protro’s.
Devin Booker has always been a Nike guy. He originally signed with the apparel company in 2015 after being drafted 13th overall by the Suns. In 2018 he renewed his contract. In July of 2022, he extended his partnership with Nike even further, signing a deal that would ensure he remained in business with them until 2029.
This past fall it was revealed that Booker would be next in line with Nike to have a signature shoe, the “Book 1: Chapter One”, and we’ve seen him wear numerous different colorways of the shoe since.
One question sneaker geeks around the fan base have been wondering is: When will they be available for purchase?
Unknwn Miami, a “premier destination for designer, street, sneakers, and lifestyle products” store co-founded by LeBron James, sold a limited number of pairs in early December.
The three-time All-Star (and hopefully soon four-time All-Star) also provided limited pairs to some of his buddies, with players like renowned sneaker geek and former teammate P.J. Tucker, and current teammates Kevin Durant, Jusuf Nurkic, and Grayson Allen sporting the shoe.
But again, when can we get our hands on them?
Now what story would be complete without some twisted controversy?
Rumors are that Devin Booker isn’t happy with how Nike has rolled out his debut shoe. He’s been wearing numerous colorways all season, but only one limited-time release has occurred. What’s up with that? Booker competed via Instagram on the Complex Sneaker’s page that referenced the fumbled release, stating, “A lot of people feel that way”.
This prompted 15-time All-Star, four-time NBA Champion, and Reebok President of Basketball Shaquille O’Neal to respond. That’s right. “President of Basketball.” Last October, Reebok announced the appointment of O’Neal as the company’s first President of Basketball with his V.P. being noted Reebok athlete Allen Iverson. (Side note: Iverson’s Question Low Mid might be my favorite shoe ever.)
Reebok is looking to re-enter the NBA’s now-saturated sneaker market. One thing they are missing? A signature athlete. Enter Shaq’s comments.
Sneaker drama, am I right?
There are no indications that Booker has any intentions of leaving Nike. Again, he’s under contract with them until 2029. He is also an avid supporter of Kobe Bryant, who was a Nike athlete. So while Shaquille O’Neal may do his best to take a shot at getting Booker to join his brand, I don’t foresee it occurring in the future.
What we do foresee is that the Book 1’s will finally be available to the masses in mid-February. Details haven’t been released as to whether or not the differing colorways will be available or if, like the KD 16’s, buyers can design their own.
Keep hanging out at Bright Side, your sneaker geek headquarters for the Phoenix Suns.