Nike has unveiled Christmas-themed colorways of its popular signature sneakers for LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant, as the three superstars again prepare to headline the NBA's annual five-game showcase on Dec. 25.
This year's Christmas sneakers draw inspiration from seasonal staples such as knit stockings and egg nog while including other winter-oriented details like snowflakes.
Now that Durant has returned from a foot injury, all three superstars are expected to suit up on Christmas: James' Cavaliers will visit his former team, the Heat; Bryant's Lakers will visit Derrick Rose's Bulls; and Durant's Thunder will get a 2014 Western Conference finals rematch with the Spurs in San Antonio.
James will take the court on Christmas for Cleveland wearing a green "Akron Birch" colorway of his LeBron 12 signature shoe. Nike unveiled the LeBron 12 in August.
The emerald green base combines with the shoe’s photorealistic camouflage upper on the Hyperposite shell. The camo pattern is inspired by Akron, Ohio’s winter weather and includes a birch tree pattern. Black and Hyperpunch micro dots integrate into the camo pattern for a seasonal touch. A notable subtlety of this shoe is the snowflake formed by small hexagons on the tongue loop.
Bryant, who has returned from Achilles and knee injuries to lead the NBA in scoring, will wear a red "Knit Stocking" colorway of his Kobe 9 signature sneaker.
The KOBE 9 gets a festive makeover highlighting its knitted aesthetic with a red and white Flyknit upper, taking inspiration from a knit stocking. Supple leather textures on the tongue and overlays give the shoe a premium feel, accented by a marbled outsole resembling candy canes. Inside, the shoe reads “Mamba’s Greetings,” a hidden detail from Bryant on the inner tongue.
Durant, who returned to the court last week, will wear a cream and red "Egg Nog" version of his KD 7 sneakers.
The shoe continues to bring Durant’s personal stories to life -- this time paying tribute to his favorite holiday beverage, egg nog. A red Hyperposite heel integrates glossy flecks emulating the condensation on a glass of egg nog. “Fresh Since ’88,” Durant’s birth year, emblazons the shoe’s sock liner as a tribute to the holiday beverage Durant has enjoyed since childhood.
All three sneaker models will hit retailers and Nike.com on Dec. 26. Flash back to Nike Basketball's 2013 Christmas collection right here.
The NBA's Christmas Day quintuple-header looks like this: Wizards at Knicks (12 p.m. ET), Thunder at Spurs (2:30 p.m. ET), Cavaliers at Heat (5 p.m. ET), Lakers at Bulls (8 p.m. ET) and Warriors at Clippers (10:30 p.m. ET). Last month, the NBA and Adidas released images of Christmas Day jerseys for all 10 teams that will play on Christmas. This year's models are noteworthy for including the player's first name, rather than his last name, on the back.