Zion Williamson getting his own signature shoe before Luka Doncic has surely raised a lot of eyebrows around the league. Zion has played only 24 games in the NBA and even though he played good, the things Luka Doncic did this season, his second one in the association, are way better than what Zion did. Therefore, when Jordan Brand announced the New Orleans Pelicans rookie sensation was going to have his own signature shoe, plenty of fans were quick to criticize the decision.
Nick Angstadt of Clutch Points joined the Locked On Mavericks Podcast, where he talked with Isaac Harris about this controversial decision. Doncic has established himself as one of the biggest stars in the league this season while Zion only played 24 games and not only became the cover of the NBA 2K21 Next Gen edition but is also getting a signature shoe before the Slovenian point guard, considered the best young talent in the league by a lot of people.
Angstadt argues that even though Luka has become a big name in the league, he doesn’t have the same brand recognition that Zion has.
Isaac Harris: So Zion is getting his first signature shoe. Called the Z Code. So a few days ago, I joked about it , and I said, ‘Zions gonna get a signature shoe after 24 games.’ He’s only played 24 games, guys.
Nick Angstadt: Is that really it…?
Isaac: Yes, and I’m just baffled right now. One, I haven’t heard any of this yet when it comes to like Nike news or people with Jordan. But if they hand him a signature shoe, the Z code or whatever they want to call it, after 24 games and zero playoff appearances, that’s confusing as heck to me and I’ll be very disappointed.
I mean, Luka has accomplished so much more. And if Zion’s getting this then don’t come at me with ‘these are the things that Luka needs to accomplish and hit MVP, or whatever it is, before he can get a signature shoe.’ Heck no, Luka’s shoe should be right behind it.
Nick: Absolutely. If Luka has to get an MVP in order to get a shoe and Zion can do it in 24 games, I mean, what are we doing? I understand Zion has all the…
Isaac: No, he has nothing more than Luka at this point. Nothing.
Nick: No, no, he has brand recognition that Luka doesn’t have in the States.
Isaac: I would say that before this season. I don’t think that’s the case.
Nick: Drake wore Zion’s jersey, how many years ago? Right? He’s been big since then. I mean, he’s had staying power in the US. He’s had really big stages of all kinds of fans.
Isaac: Sure, but Jordan brand is global. We know that with Rui. I mean, we’ve talked about Rui, but…
Nick: But did anybody that didn’t know Luka before all of a sudden know Luka because he’s represented by Jordan Brand? I don’t think so. I don’t think that changed his reach.
Isaac: No, but I think his game on the court has reach more than Zion.
Nick: For sure, but I don’t think it’s more than Zion yet.
Zion has been marketed since his high school days. The media gave tagged him as the most exciting prospect in the league since LeBron James and everybody wanted to have and know something about him. On the other hand, Doncic was overlooked ahead of the 2018 NBA draft; he was a big deal in Europe after all the things he did with Real Madrid and the Slovenian national team, but in the US, he had to earn his position.
Now Doncic is one of the best players in the league but it looks like he still needs to earn his position in the league once again. As things stand right now, it would be hard to see a Zion signature shoe getting more sales than Luka’s.