5. Vince Carter
Brand move: Puma to Nike
Few may remember now, but Vince Carter launched into the NBA wearing Puma, a brand that hadn't had overwhelming cachet in the L since the days of Walt "Clyde" Frazier. Then almost as quick as one of his follow dunks, he wanted out, but Puma wasn't going to make it easy. In the interim, Carter took to wearing any sneaker he could get his hands on—and wound up wearing And 1 Tai Chis in what will likely stand as his career's defining moment, the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. Finally, with some legal gymnastics completed, Carter was able to make the jump to Nike. Right from the start he was the face of Nike's Shox technology, thanks to once of the greatest dunks of all time in the 2000 Olympics. Could Carter have singlehandedly brought Puma back to b-ball prominence? Too bad we'll never know.