FILA is paying tribute to the Duke/Carolina rivalry -- and the alma mater of two of their highest-profile former NBA stars, Grant Hill and Jerry Stackhouse -- with a "Tobacco Road" collection set to release October 3.
The collection features the FILA 96 and FILA Spaghetti, respectively worn by Hill and Stackhouse, in either Duke or Carolina colors.
Grant Hill and his FILAs, of course, became the topic of controversy a little over a decade ago when Hill suffered from recurring, serious ankle injuries. Charles Barkley even went on record to claim FILA's "cheap shoes" were the cause of Hill's ankle problems.
"When you're wearing cheap shoes, and you don't wear Nike, it's going to happen. They gave him all that money to wear those cheap Filas," Barkley said on a live TNT broadcast in December of 2000.
Though, to be fair, Barkley was sponsored by a rival shoe company at the time, and he's been known to make bold, outrageous statements a time or two -- or hundred. (Hill himself has pinpointed most of the blame of his ankle woes on the Pistons training staff)
Though he eventually recovered to become a solid NBA player, Hill never regained the superstar form he showed during his first six years in the league, when he averaged around 22 points, 6 assists, 8 rebounds per game and made the All NBA First Team in 97 and second team four times. It's also worth noting that Stackhouse wore FILAs and has been healthy most of his 17 year career.