Grizzlies star Ja Morant debuts Nike Ja 1s in Christmas game

Memphis Grizzlies all-star point guard Ja Morant will debut his first signature shoe with Nike when his team appears in their first Christmas Day game in franchise history.

“Just being able to have a signature shoe with Nike, not a lot of guys have been able to do that,” Morant said. “It’s definitely a big milestone for me and something I’ll never forget.”

The Grizzlies take on the Golden State Warriors at 8 p.m. ET on ABC and ESPN. For the first time, Morant will lace up its eponymous sneaker in a bright blue colourway with gold, pink, lime green and red accents.

On Christmas Eve, he teased the debut by posting on social media a gift from his daughter Kaari wrapped in a repeating pattern featuring his new signature logo. His daughter’s name is also stamped on the inner half of the shoe.

While the design and development process of a signature shoe typically takes around 18-24 months, Morant will launch the Nike Ja 1 early, with the shoe expected to hit stores later in 2023. Several color variants are planned for spring and summer 2023 Retailer sales calendar. The shoe is expected to retail for $110.

“I feel like the most important thing was to tell a story,” Morant said. β€œObviously finding ways to give my fans and people who support me access to yes and see what’s going on in my life and what I’m about. Combining that with Nike to put all of those things in one shoe was crazy.”

Morant becomes just the 23rd NBA athlete in league history to receive his own signature sneaker from Nike. Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2019, Paul George in 2017 and Kyrie Irving in 2014 were the last three to launch their own shoe. The brand has touted that Morant is “Nike Basketball’s first Gen Z Signature Athlete” and recently featured the Grizzlies star in its 50th Anniversary campaign as it looks to the future of the company.

“[Ja Morant] is a revolutionary player who has quickly become a global star with his unmatched athleticism and exciting style of play,” said Scott Munson, Nike VP of global men’s basketball. “His authentic personality, his deep love for his community and family, and his enjoyment of the game make him something very special – on and off the pitch. We’re thrilled to add Morant to our signature list and can’t wait for everyone to learn more about his debut shoe, the Nike Ja 1.”

The sneaker features a low-top silhouette with a mesh and leather upper and a reinforced forefoot support plate. Its signature “JA” logo can be found along the tongue tab. The stylized font sits above a chevron and represents the 23-year-old’s rise as an overlooked South Carolina player and a Morant family mantra.

“As a kid, whenever I was wondering if I was good enough, my parents would say, ‘You’re under no one,'” he said of the motto, which is now tattooed on his left arm. “And that’s how I want everyone to feel when they wear the Ja 1 β€” that they’re under no one.”

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