HOUSTON (AP) _ Nick Young marked his new deal with Adidas and sent the Internet abuzz on Saturday night by wearing Kanye West-designed Adidas Yeezy 750 Boosts in the Los Angeles Lakers game against the Houston Rockets.
The flamboyant star, who goes by the nickname Swaggy P, explained why he wore the lifestyle shoes that aren’t really made for basketball.
“I just signed with Adidas, welcome to the three stripes, Swaggy P,” he said to The Associated Press. “And I had to come in with some style and that’s basically what it’s all about.”
The move made waves in part because the street shoes are nearly impossible to get, and some on Twitter worried he might get hurt wearing them. But Young scored 13 points and said there was no need for concern.
“It felt good,” he said. “It actually felt good on my feet. I was worried about the same thing, but once I put them on and got out there on the court it was just time to play.”
His teammates were excited by his choice of footwear and kept yelling: “Tell `em about the Yeezy’s, Nick Yeezy” as he fielded questions about the game.
The struggling Lakers have won just three games this season and lost 126-97, but Young did something he hasn’t done in his time in Los Angeles in the lopsided defeat: He had his first-ever assist to Kobe Bryant. He thought it might have had something to do with the shoes.
“It was the Yeezy’s tonight that got the assist for him,” he joked.
The suede, grey high-tops have a Velcro flap over the laces and retail for $350, but they make so few pairs that they sell on EBay and other resellers for thousands of dollars.
Young said he knew wearing them on the court would cause a stir and smiled broadly when told that his Instagram post of a picture of the shoes already had more than 30,000 likes during the game. His move was made more interesting considering former Rockets star Tracy McGrady sat courtside wearing the exact same shoes.
So can we expect Young to wear these again?
“Yeah Swaggy P don’t have no limits when it comes to shoes,” he said. “As long as I can play I’m going to bring some heat out here.”
The Lakers have dropped six in a row and 13 of their last 14. Young said showing his individuality helps him deal with the struggles.
“You’ve got to do something to try to get your spirits up while you losing and all that and that’s where I find confidence and my joy and trying to keep doing it, keep doing stuff like this,” he said.
Then he finished lacing the shoes, fastened the Velcro closure and walked out of the locker room.