Terrance Ferguson wasn't the only revelation in Thursday's Oklahoma City Thunder-Los Angeles Lakers game. Russell Westbrook also debuted his first signature shoe with the Jordan Brand, a PE version of the Why Not Zero.1 "Mirror Image."
The reigning NBA Most Valuable Player has been rocking the Air Jordan flagship line since inking a sneaker contract in 2013, until it was extended late last year. What made this occasion more special was that he got to do the unveiling in his hometown of California.
"As a kid growing up in LA and standing in line to get other people's shoes, you become aware of how fortunate you are to get sneakers. To be able to sit here now and hold my own shoe is an honor," Westbrook said in an interview with Nike.
Top priority when constructing the ideal performance shoe for a whirling dervish who approaches the game with reckless abandon is stability, particularly "forefoot containment." For that reason, the pair is equipped with "a fused mesh upper, full-length Zoom Air unit and a compression-molded pylon foam piece engineered for flight."
And if you know Westbrook, aesthetic is as important as functionality in everything he does. "Mr. Triple Double," whose fashion sense and playing style are equally loud, was hands-on during conceptualization, alongside Jordan designers and Thunder equipment manager Wilson Taylor.
He shares: "My favorite part of the design process is storytelling. Being able to tell my story through colorways and at different times during the season is a lot of fun."
Putting all those factors together, what you get is the perfect embodiment of his "Why Not?" mantra. "If I face a challenge, I run at it—not away from it," Westbrook says. To be honest, he must have said the same thing to his team after OKC's rough start to the season.
The Jordan Why Not Zero.1 launches January 15