Julius Randle Reveals How He Wanted the ‘Ugliest Shoe Ever’ Instead of Jordans Because of Idol Kobe Bryant

Published 09/14/2021, 12:04 AM EDT


Julius Randle has massively improved his game over the years. The 26-year-old power forward made his NBA debut at the age of 19 for Los Angeles Lakers. He currently plies his trade with New York Knicks. Julius is a huge Kobe Bryant fan, and he has been outspoken about it. Julius even got the opportunity to play alongside Kobe Bryant for two seasons.

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May 26, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) reacts after scoring a basket against the Atlanta Hawks during the second half of game two of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Elsa/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

2020-21 NBA season was Julius Randle’s best season so far. He averaged 24.1 PPG, 6 APG, 10.2 RPG, AND 37.6 MPG and got his first All-Star and All-NBA team selection. Furthermore, he won the Most Improved Player award in 2021.

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Julius Randle preferred Kobe Bryant sneakers over Jordans

In a recent promotional video for Kicks and Mobil 1, Julius Randle showed his vast sneakers collection and talked about it. He revealed that he loved Kobe’s sneakers and preferred them over the Jordans.

“If it’s basketball, it’s Kobes. It’s nothing else. That’s all I wear. He was my idol growing up and everything,” Julius said.

“When Kobe was with Adidas, he had those moon shoes, or whatever it was, the silver ones. And I wanted them so bad. It was Christmas, and my mom, she got me the Jordans that came out when he was with the Wizards. And it was the suede and had the blue strip at the bottom. I was upset that she had got me the new Jordans because I wanted to Kobes so bad. It was the ugliest shoe ever. So I think that’s really what started my love for sneakers.”

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Michael Jordan is someone who has defined the basketball game as well as the sneaker game. Since 1985, Jordan’s sneakers have been released every year. Now, the Jordan brand is a multi-billion-dollar corporation. However, despite Jordan being one of the best sneakers brands, Julius Randle preferred Kobe’s sneakers over them. Kobe’s signature shoes came with two brands over his career.

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Adidas had a deal with him till 2002, and KB8 was Kobe’s first true signature shoe. Kobe signed with Nike after that and released the Nike Zoom Kobe series.

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Abhishek Singh

117 articles

Abhishek is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports with over two years of journalistic experience with Chase Your Sport and Dribl. A Football Management graduate, he has previously interned in the Indian Super League, I-League and the AFC Champions League. In addition to being a Michael Jordan fan, Abhishek is an ardent Steph Curry and Warriors guy, and believes they have a few more championships in store before the former retires.

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