Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie—who after a patchy early career just inked a three-year, $34 million extension with Brooklyn, and seems to be a generally hilarious dude—has a refreshing worldview on the brands. Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic wrote about the population of NBA players who navigate the league without a sneaker deal. For many of them, this wasn’t by design.
As a second-round pick out of Colorado who never found a rhythm in stints with the Pistons and Bulls, Dinwiddie had previously struggled to lock down a shoe contract. By now he surely could, but he instead makes his own line of shoes, which are designed off his own sketches. (“I have a very limited artistic skill-set ... For whatever reason, I can draw shoes.”)
Dinwiddie’s unusual path through the NBA seems to have given him a healthy perspective on brand relationships:
“We’re taught to have this brand loyalty and to just be completely infatuated with the idea of a family,” Dinwiddie said. “But Nike’s never actually going to be my family. My family is Malcolm, Stephanie — my parents — my little brother, my son. That’s my family. I’m not looking for that in a brand. When you kind of distance yourself from that specific thinking you can break the mold of, hey, why do I really like this shoe? Is it because I like this shoe? Or is it because I like the brand or I feel emotionally attached to this brand?”