The world is in mourning today following the news of the death of iconic designer Virgil Abloh, who passed away after a long battle with cancer.
The 41-year-old was an instrumental figure in streetwear, becoming the first Black creative director for Louis Vuitton and changing sneaker culture with his signature “Off-White” kicks.
Abloh’s presence in the sports world was huge, especially in the NBA with multiple players rocking his signature sneakers in games.
In 2020, the NBA entered a partnership with Louis Vuitton, with Abloh designing a variety of capsules crossing over the luxury brand with the league’s identity, including a bespoke LV case for the Larry O’Brien trophy.
Luis Vuitton’s Virgil Abloh transformed Madison Square Garden to unveil the LVxNBA menswear capsule collection.
The partnership also includes the creation of the bespoke Louis Vuitton travel vase for the Larry O’Brien trophy. pic.twitter.com/iY2wpF4qv7
– Front Office Sports (@FOS) November 20, 2020
Russell Westbrook led the tributes for the influential designer, with several players and teams taking to social media to offer their condolences.
The Bulls family would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of Virgil Abloh, a creative force who inspired so many. He will be greatly missed.
– Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) November 28, 2021
Over the years Abloh’s sneakers have been a staple on the court for some of the league’s fashion-forward players, including P.J. Tucker, Jordan Clarkson and Montrezl Harrel.
Let’s look back at some of the most iconic Off-White’s we’ve seen grace the hardwood over the years.
Last week against the Charlotte Hornets, Harrell broke out the Off-White Jordan 1s.
– ?? (@PlayoffWizards) November 19, 2021
In 2017, while playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, Clarkson rocked the Off-White x Nike React Hyperdunk.
– KicksOnFire (@kicksonfire) November 16, 2017
In 2018, Russell Westbrook arrived for a playoff game against the Utah Jazz in the Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh Converse Chuck Taylor.
Devin Booker’s sneaker game is on another level, frequently rocking a string of different Kobe PEs, but the Phoenix Suns guard has frequently been on-court wearing some of Abloh’s designs.
In 2018, he rocked the Off-White Converse Chuck 70.
– B/R Kicks (@brkicks) October 4, 2018
In 2017, against the Los Angeles Lakers, Booker was getting buckets in the Off-White Hyperdunks
Last night @DevinBook put up 22 points & dished 5 dimes in the Off-White Hyperdunks
– Nice Kicks (@nicekicks) October 24, 2017
There was no bigger supporter of Virgil Abloh’s designs in the NBA than sneaker King P.J. Tucker, who has just about every sneaker in his rotation.
Even the Off-White x Nike Air Max 90.
PJ Tucker wearing the Off-White x Nike Air Max 90 against Portland. pic.twitter.com/Mv6a58jbms
– B/R Kicks (@brkicks) November 19, 2019
In 2020, Tucker hit the floor at Madison Square Garden in the Off-White Jordan V!.
– ? #NBAKicks ? (@NBAKicks) March 3, 2020
In 2017, Tucker rocked Off-White Air Jordan 1.
PJ Tucker rocks OFF WHITE Air Jordan 1s and Aston Martin Kobe V in tonight’s game against the Lakers pic.twitter.com/uRy7KOXq8n
– Sneaker News (@SneakerNews) December 4, 2017
During the 2020 NBA Finals, Tucker debuted a pair of custom Jordan 1s designed by the Shoe Surgeon and jeweller, Jason of Beverly Hills, who remixed the Off-White 1’s into a diamond-encrusted work of art.
Even Giannis Antetokounmpo couldn’t believe it.
The $250,000 sneakers are a one of one for Tucker.
While playing for the Houston Rockets, the NBA’s sneaker king broke out a pair of Abloh’s Nike Hyperdunk sneakers, customized by The Shoe Surgeon.
Abloh’s version came in white, but Tucker added the red colourway to go with his Houston uniform.
Abloh’s influence on NBA fashion was immense and his life and art will live on through his designs.
Rest in Peace.
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