Following in the footsteps of the altruistic Stephon Marbury, Da Bulls’ Ben Wallace has a $14.98 signature sneaker set to launch at the Starbury-approved Steve & Barry chain. Hoops Is Global take an early look at Big Ben’s nuevo footwear.
From my perspective, the issue will be whether Starbury’s $14.98 sneakers can get respect on the court. While sales numbers of the I and II are rumored to be in the range of 1-2 million pairs sold, people seem pretty divided between the “you get what you pay for” camp and the “if these had a jumpman logo on the side, everyone would love them” camp. But a product that polarizes means the people care — and that’s half the battle in the sneaker industry. Does the Big Ben extension to the Starbury line inspire? Does it add performance authenticity to the Starbury brand? Will the sneaker industry respond with other hoops shoes priced below $30? Are other brands missing out?
I think so. But will the revitalized British Knights line be fast enough to get a Jerome James shoe (list price, $2.98) on the shelves before Christmas?
Which reminds me, given his opposition to Nike’s marketing and prices over the years, has the Post’s Phil Mushnick completely ignored the subject of Marbury’s econo sneakers, or was that the one Mushnick column I’ve missed in the past 5 years?