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NBA Sneaker King Power Rankings: LaMelo Ball makes the cut; Tobias Harris moves near top with rare Kobe kicks


The week right before the NBA All-Star Game is always a huge one when it comes to sneakers. The league’s biggest names really start showing off some ultra-exclusive stuff around this time in the buildup to what they’ll wear during the game. You’ll notice a lot of that in this week’s edition of our NBA Sneaker King Power Rankings. New colorways, more player exclusives and some rare gems you won’t see anywhere else.

Check all that out right here. Here are this week’s top 10:

10. LaMelo Ball

The way LaMelo Ball has started his NBA career has sneaker execs over at Puma living the dream. Ball, who looks every bit like the NBA’s Rookie of the Year so far, signed with Puma before playing a single minute in the league. The move was a slight surprise at the time because most assumed he would be the one to continue the push for his family’s Big Baller Brand sneaker line. Ball decided to ink a clothing and sneaker deal with Puma instead and it’s paying off major dividends for both sides.

LaMelo Ball in the Puma RS-Dreamer.
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9. Trey Lyles

You might not think of Trey Lyles when you’re assessing the biggest Nike Kobe line collectors in the NBA, but he’s certainly deserving of an honorable mention at the least. Lyles consistently brings back some of the rarest sneakers the Kobe line has to offer but this week he makes the cut with an absolutely beautiful Kobe 5 Player Exclusive. The kicks are championship trophy gold with subtle white accents and gold speckles on the midsole. This is a sneaker you could imagine on Kobe’s feet during his Lakers title days. Huge props to Lyles for this gem.

Trey Lyles in a Nike Kobe 5 PE.
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8. Kawhi Leonard

It doesn’t get stressed enough, but the New Balance KAWHI is one of the more detailed signature shoes in basketball right now. Want to know why and what those details are? We’ve done the work for you in this extensive breakdown. This past week, Kawhi Leonard laced up a number of subtle, but powerful colorways of his signature shoe. It’s time to soak these in because you never know when the KAWHI 2 will hit the court!

Kawhi Leonard with three different iterations of the New Balance KAWHI.
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7. Jerami Grant

Jerami Grant continues to surprise a lot of folks with his production on the court, but he shouldn’t be shocking anyone with how many times he lands on our Sneaker King Power Rankings. The guy is as legit a sneakerhead in the league and is one of the few players who consistently hoops in retro Jordan kicks. This week, his best game shoe was the Jordan 4 ‘PSG,’ a shoe stemming from a Jordan Brand and Paris Saint Germain football club collaboration in 2020.

Jerami Grant in the Jordan 4 ‘PSG.’
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6. Kyrie Irving

The executive board that runs the Sneaker King Power Rankings would like to offer a formal apology to Kyrie Andrew Irving for not having him on this list this season before right now. Full transparency: These shoes weren’t done justice by the first batch of colorways, but Irving, and the team at Nike, has absolutely gone on a run with different flavors recently. The Kyrie 7 is just the latest model in what has been one of Nike’s most successful lines in recent memory.

Kyrie Irving in his signature Nike Kyrie 7.
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5. Damian Lillard

Is there a player in the NBA you want taking a meaningful, last-second shot more than Damian Lillard? Probably not. The kicks this season are doing their best to match his game. Different colorways on a nightly basis and insane collaborations are what is helping the Adidas Dame 7 stand out in a line that is starting to duplicate the success it saw early on when it first launched. The biggest highlight this week was the Dame 7 ‘Ric Flair,‘ a white and gold mashup that could not have been executed any better. The kicks scream ‘WOOOO’ and the ‘Nature Boy’ energy is clear, they’re a hit.

Damian Lillard in his signature Adidas Dame 7.
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4. Montrezl Harrell

Montrezl Harrell’s sneaker game makes you feel like you’re flipping through an old Eastbay magazine catalog, perusing through amazing sneakers you’re never going to get your hands on. He’ll continue making the cut in the Sneaker King Power Rankings off nostalgia alone. The Reebok ambassador did his best this week to bring back the 1990s with a number of different models, and he even laced up a pair of Reebok Pumps.

Montrezl Harrell is a Reebok Basketball catalog.
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3. Jayson Tatum

With images starting to leak out, Jordan Brand is getting ready to officially reveal Zion Williamson’s signature shoe. That makes you wonder: In a loaded roster of young talented players, who’s next? It very likely could be Jayson Tatum. He’s a two-time All-Star in one of the league’s biggest markets and plays for a storied franchise. But before he can lace up a signature shoe, Tatum will keep doing his thing with the endless number of player exclusives he gets from Jordan. This week, he kept us guessing with the Jordan 34 and 35 models. Check them out below.

Jayson Tatum flips between the Jordan 34 and 35 models.
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2. Tobias Harris 

We spoke about the guys in the NBA that you KNOW have the deepest Nike Kobe collections earlier, and Tobias Harris is one of those players. It’s all he wears. If you see him on a basketball court with anything other than a pair of Kobes on, call someone because something isn’t right. The huge highlight of the week here is a Nike Kobe 6 PE that almost looks to be inspired by a classic Kobe Christmas shoe, the Kobe 7 ‘Leopard.’

Tobias Harris with some heat from the Nike Kobe line.
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1. P.J. Tucker

You’ll know something monumental happened in the NBA sneaker scene if P.J. Tucker isn’t in the No. 1 spot at any given time in our Sneaker King Power Rankings. He’s the Michael Jordan of kicks, the LeBron James of footwear and the Wilt Chamberlain of colorways. He doesn’t miss when it comes to this stuff, and he didn’t this week either. The highlights include a Jordan 35 UNC PE — not even the league’s biggest Jordan Brand endorsers have that sneaker. A Nike Kobe 6 PE inspired by the Nike Yeezy ‘Pure Platinum.’ The Jordan 12 ‘Flu Game,’ which is one of the most iconic sneakers of all time. And a clean Nike Kobe 4 PE in a black and orange colorway with his number ’17’ embroidered on the ankle. Another impressive, but routine, week from the league’s Sneaker King.

P.J. Tucker showing off his sneaker versatility. 
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