Sneaker King Power Rankings: LeBron James, Anthony Davis in the mix; P.J. Tucker shows off another UNC PE


The NBA season is back – almost like it never left – and we’re already getting to witness the league’s sneaker scene as if it were in mid-season form. A late-December start to the season gave us the opportunity to enjoy the highly-anticipated Christmas Day sneaker wave around the NBA, which you’ll see a ton featured below. The shortened offseason was no match for the league’s biggest sneakerheads as they continue to show off their footwear. Keep scrolling for a recap of who’s brought the most sneaker heat over the past week.

Jerami Grant has had to send a ton of shoes over to his new spot in Detroit after leaving the Nuggets for the Pistons in the offseason. Luckily for him the 3-year, $60M deal deal he just inked can cover some overnight shipping. So far this season, Grant has been showing off his Jordan Brand collection. He’s broken out the Jordan 11 ‘Jubilee,’ the Jordan 5 ‘What The,’ and the Jordan 3 ‘Fire Red Denim.’ Not a bad to invest that spare change.

Jerami Grant showing off his Jordan Brand versatility this season.
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There aren’t many players in a better spot right now than Luka Doncic. He’s a 21-year-old international sensation on a Jordan Brand sneaker deal. Not only will he be collecting All-NBA accolades for years to come, but he’s also going to have to build a bigger shoe closet because Jordan doesn’t skimp out when it sends its shipments to players. So far this season, Doncic has been showing off his player exclusive colorways of the brand new Jordan 35. You’ll see many more of these in a number of different looks this season.

Luka Doncic with two player exclusive editions of the Jordan 35.
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From one of Jordan Brand’s youngest starts to one of its seasoned vets in Carmelo Anthony. This guy’s sneaker closet – or sneaker guest house – is probably worth a couple million and that might be selling him short. Anthony has been a Jordan Brand athlete for over a decade and had his own signature line. Because of that clout, he still gets to collect premium player exclusive colorways of the brand’s latest kicks like you’ll see below.

Carmelo Anthony still has some pull around Jordan Brand, too.
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LeBron James’ Nike line is on its 18th signature sneaker. That’s the second-longest signature line ever behind Michael Jordan’s collection that is on its 35th model. Just another spectrum where The King and Air Jordan are No. 1 and No. 2 battling it out. It’s a remarkable accomplishment and LeBron seems to be more connected with showing off his kicks more than ever. Keep scrolling to check out the different colorways of the Nike LeBron 18 we’ve seen so far this season.

LeBron James dishing out different flavors of his Nike LeBron 18 signature.
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If you didn’t know by now, Converse is fully back in the basketball scene and making shoes for modern athletes. One of those athletes is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and he’s asking Converse to send him absolutely EVERYTHING. This dude does not shy away from any colorways and so far has been showing off the Converse All Star BB on a nightly basis. He’s opening a lot of eyes to what Converse basketball has to offer.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander keeps an extensive Converse collection at all times.
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A lot of folks labeled Tyrese Haliburton a steal on draft night when he fell to the Kings with the 12th pick. So far those claims have been right on the money because the youngster is hooping and he’s doing it in style. He already has a veteran shoe game, coming out with customs on Christmas Day and keeping the sick colorways in his Nike collection on display. The Nike Kobe 6 Protro ‘Grinch’ stands out as probably one of the top sneakers to come out in all of 2020. Shoutout to Haliburton for making sure he secured his pair.

Tyrese Haliburton is already showing off his sneaker taste.
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Anthony Davis is slowly climbing his way up to be recognized as one of the NBA’s premium collectors of Nike Kobe sneakers. DeMar DeRozan, Tobias Harris, Isaiah Thomas and P.J. Tucker are currently at that table, but Davis has made his case over the past year and continues to do so in the early portion of this season. Being a Lakers superstar and a Nike athlete, Davis gets to indulge in player exclusive colorways from the Kobe line that your average player can’t get ahold of. If he keeps up this level of heat, he’s going to be a mainstay in the top 5 of these rankings all season. 

Anthony Davis showing off his Nike Kobe line collection.
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Unfortunately, Ja Morant went down with an ankle injury and will miss some time but that wasn’t before he made it clear he was bringing the HEAT with his footwear this season. It’s cool that hoopers are paying homage to Kobe Bryant by rocking his latest releases, but Morant is digging deep into his collection for the retro Kobe kicks that are super hard to get your hands on. Before his injury, Morant broke out the Nike Kobe 8 ‘What The Kobe’ and the Nike Kobe 6 ‘Think Pink.’ Those are classics and Morant gets bonus points for showing off the extensive reach of his collection.

Ja Morant giving everyone a taste of what’s coming this season.
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There’s an argument to be made that no one player has made a bigger splash so far this season with their kicks than Dejounte Murray. The Spurs guard has been rocking the latest shoe from New Balance hoops – the New Balance Two WXY. So far these kicks have been reserved for New Balance’s roster of hoopers including Murray, Darius Bazely and Jamal Murray. The biggest hit among the colorways Murray has rocked has been this throwback Spurs colorway that he’s worn with the team’s newest City Edition uniforms. Huge hit.  

Dejounte Murray showing off the latest from New Balance hoops.
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1. P.J. Tucker

The NBA’s sneaker scene has only gotten more competitive over the years. Everyone has a shoe plug, access to the rarest kicks across the world has never been easier and yet P.J. Tucker continues to prove that there’s levels to this and he’s in a different stratosphere. To make things simple, this season Tucker has worn a pair of retro Jordan 13 kicks that were made exclusively for the North Carolina basketball team. Tucker didn’t go to UNC. He also broke out a sample pair of retro Jordan 5 sneakers that had never seen the light of day until he laced them up. There’s a ton of incredible footwear across the league, then there’s Tucker’s collection.

P.J. Tucker continues to prove why he’s his only competition in the NBA sneaker scene.
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