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Longest-Running Signature Sneaker Lines Among NBA Stars

Rare Air: The Longest-Running Signature Sneaker Lines Among Active NBA Stars

These NBA stars are currently a cut above the rest, with their signature sneaker lines still going strong alongside their level of play.

In the NBA, getting a signature sneaker line is a clear recognition of a player’s talent. Over the years, we’ve seen more and more players get these deals, which are well-deserved after putting in the work to excel at their craft.

But some are simply a cut above the rest. Whether it’s through playing at a high level, maintaining a marketable image, or even through design choices, we’ve seen some signature sneaker lines remain strong well after they first started.

Among active NBA players, here are those that stand out from the bunch.

LeBron James
signature sneaker lines NBA: LeBron
(Photo Credit: NBA Kicks on X)

LeBron James has the longest-running signature sneaker line among active NBA stars, with 21 models to date. He’s also teased the LeBron 22 recently, which is currently in wear testing phases. 

Given Nike’s timelines, we can expect the LeBron 22 to officially drop around September or October this year. Legacy debates aside, this is a testament of LeBron’s on- and off-court longevity since making his NBA debut in 2003.

Kevin Durant
signature sneaker lines NBA: KD
(Photo Credit: NBA Kicks on X)

Behind LeBron James is Kevin Durant, whose signature line began in 2008. Four teams and an Achilles injury later, Durant is now on his 17th model with Nike, with the KD 17 officially dropping last May.

On top of KD’s on-court relevance, it’s hard to deny the legacy and appeal of his signature line. Chances are, a lot of people will fondly remember trying to get earlier models such as the KD 4 and 6 when they originally released in the mid-2010s. 

Stephen Curry 
signature sneaker lines NBA: Curry
(Photo Credit: NBA Kicks on X)

In 2013, Stephen Curry took a gamble to leave the Swoosh and sign with Under Armour. Safe to say that the move paid off for him. 

From the Curry 1 that coincided with Steph’s first NBA title, the recently concluded NBA season saw the release of the Curry 11. Given this, Steph officially joined a group that includes names like James, Durant, Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson among others. 

Under Armour has also begun the retro treatment for Curry, starting with updated Curry 1 and 2 models last year. The 2015 title aside, these first two pairs helped Steph lead the Warriors to the all-time 73-9 regular season record in 2016, to go along with back-to-back regular season MVPs. 

Klay Thompson 
signature sneaker lines NBA: Klay Thompson
(Photo Credit: Golden State Warriors on Facebook)

Klay Thompson bet on himself when he joined Anta in 2015. Fast forward to today, and Klay’s 11th season also marked the release of the Anta KT 9. Much of Klay’s accolades were complemented by his Anta sneakers, which mainly include four NBA titles and five All-Star nods. 

Given Anta’s direction right now, it may have been a wise choice for Klay to take that gamble nine years ago with the brand.

Damian Lillard
signature sneaker lines NBA: Damian Lillard
(Photo Credit: Milwaukee Bucks on Facebook)

Despite an early 2024 Playoffs exit, Damian Lillard has already debuted the adidas Dame 9, which will likely see an official release in a few months’ time. Lillard’s signature line is also a solid performer at an affordable price point, which makes it a hit among hoopers everywhere.

Provided that Dame maintains his level of play, and adidas makes the right design cues, it’s not too farfetched for him to get a 10th model a year from now.

James Harden 
signature sneaker lines NBA: Harden
(Photo Credit: NBA Kicks on Instagram)

James Harden’s adidas signature line is a “premium” offering, from overall looks, to the technology employed by the Three Stripes. Alongside experimental design cues, this is probably why we’ve had the Harden Vol. 8 that saw an initial release last February. 

And while it’ll take another year, we’ve already seen previews of the Harden Vol. 9, which continues the experimental approach that’s been tied to James Harden’s signature shoes. 

Inactive, but not officially discontinued
Chris Paul
(Photo Credit: NBA Kicks on X)

It’s been four years since Chris Paul debuted the Jordan CP3 13 with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Unfortunately, these never got a public release, with Paul even going back to the CP3 12 during his time with the Phoenix Suns.

Based on history, signature sneaker lines are often discontinued quietly in the NBA. Given this, maybe the four-year inactivity already tells us what’s next for Chris Paul’s signature line with the Jumpman. 

Derrick Rose 
(Photo Credit: NBA Kicks on X)

Believe it or not, adidas actually dropped a D Rose 11 last December 2020 on top of giving earlier models the updated retro treatment. Safe to assume that Derrick Rose has remained popular enough for his signature line to last that long and even get some retro treatment.

But given Rose’s current career stage, a D Rose 12 is more than unlikely to come at this point. At the very least, we’ll likely be limited to more retro models in a bid to capitalize on the nostalgia of his younger years. 

Banner Images from NBA Kicks on X.

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