Whether or not brands should release player edition (PE) shoes to consumers has been a contentious topic of discussion in the sneaker world for awhile. Here, I will focus on Jordan Brand and one of its most well known and, as of today, officially retired athletes, Ray Allen (aka Jesus Shuttlesworth).
I know it’s something different other than the usual footwear news and reviews, but it’s great to gather insight on how you, our readers, feel when it comes to sneakers that we love and can’t get our hands on. Should Jordan Brand release some of Ray Allen’s infamous PEs to honor his retirement? I think it would be a great way to commemorate such a phenomenal career and celebrate what Allen has added to the game of basketball. Many of us have gathered ’round the television eyeballing what players have worn on their feet, and Jordan Brand always laced Sugar Ray with really special colorways.
It isn’t that Jordan Brand has never released a Ray Allen PE, because it did…once. JB released the Air Jordan XIII Retro Ray Allen PE in White/Green but it was extremely limited and only available in the Massachusetts area. I assumed a lot of sneaker enthusiasts were pretty salty about not being able to obtain such a hot commodity, which leads us back to my original question. Now, if Jordan Brand were to release Ray Allen PEs, how would you like to see them released? It’d be cool to see releases with city/team connections — Allen moved from the Milwaukee Bucks to the extinct Seattle Supersonics, on to the Boston Celtics, and his career with the Miami Heat. Also, one shouldn’t forget about the incredible footwear he wore while representing Team USA.
It would only be right to release the shoes in a format that reflected how Ray Allen’s career started and ended, based upon where he was first drafted and played, to where he took his last shot at the end of his career. It could also be in Nike/Jordan Brand’s financial interest to release some Ray Allen PEs because it would follow the model they built: incredibly high demand (that cannot be satiated) for small product numbers. There are so many ways the brands could put together such an amazing slew of kicks, and it be in line with what Jordan Brand does now: nostalgia. I also wouldn’t mind seeing the price point decrease (those days of $120-140 were great compared to today) but that is unlikely, especially if these were to release in limited numbers.
If you had the option to choose, how would you put together such a prized release? Would you do it as a city pack? Would you only do two shoes per pack? Would it be a Home/Away pack, like what you see above? The possibilities are endless.
People have generally slowed down with new Jordan Brand pickups due to the slew of releases lately. Why, you ask? It could be the over-saturation, the excessively high price points, or even the quality of materials. These things can turn customers away, but if the brand were to actually give the customer something they’d been asking for for years, tides could turn. It would be nice to see things go our way as consumers, and remember, you do have a say: your dollars speak.
We will be reading the comments (as always) so how would you like the Player Exclusives to be released? Are there any shoes and/or colorways in particular you would like to see release that aren’t listed? The options seem to be endless. If I were the brand, I’d listen a lot closer to what us little guys have to say.
I want to credit and thank DependableJay, SoleSupreme23, and Pevault for allowing the usage of their images for this op-ed. With that, sound off in the comments. Happy retirement to Ray Allen!