With the Rookie Game upon us tomorrow night, let's take a look back at the best sneakers spotted in the history of this much anticipated match-up. From its inception during the 1994-95 season, the NBA Rookie Challenge has proven to be the best preview of today's future stars including MVP's like Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant just to name a few, with the list of participants who have gone on to Hall-of-Fame caliber careers is even more expansive.

While some have even gotten their own signature line as rookies, all of them at the very least get to show off their own style and what has made them so successful at such an early juncture of their careers. These are The 10 Best Sneakers Worn in Rookie Game History.

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No. 10 - OJ Mayo x Nike Huarache 2009

Year: 2009
Location: US Airways Center; Phoenix, Arizona

For the Rookie Challenge in 2009, Nike introduced team-specific colorways to its Huarache line. OJ Mayo was one of the players sporting these sneakers, which for the first time utilized EPMs (Environmentally Preferred Materials) in their construction. Despite becoming more green, the sneakers still kept many important features that allowed Mayo to score in double figures: Zoom Air and a Phylon midsole that allowed for easy elevation on his six three-point attempts, a breathable upper that helped him keep up with the furious pace of the game, and a directional herringbone outsole that gave him outstanding traction on his cuts to the basket.

No. 9 - John Wall x Reebok Zig Slash

Year: 2011
Location: Staples Center; Los Angeles, California

Although he hasn’t lived up to the initial promise he showed his rookie year, John Wall was dominant in the 2011 Rookie Challenge, taking home MVP honors wearing the Reebok Zig Slash. The impact-absorbing zigs and zags along the foam outsole helped take some of the burden off the incredibly busy Wizard’s feet as he set a Rookie Challenge record by dishing out an incredible 22 assists to go along with 12 points and 2 steals. The synthetic upper also provided the young point guard with all the breathability he could want, although on this night there probably wasn’t any sneaker in the world that could have cooled him down.

No. 8 - Chris Paul x Nike Air Jordan 9.5

Year: 2006
Location: Toyota Center; Houston, Texas

While CP3 didn’t have the best game of his life in the Rookie Challenge (8 points, 11 assists, 5 steals but also 6 turnovers), he was undoubtedly helped by his Jordan 9.5 PEs. Fusing together the best aspects of the Jordan IX and X, Nike created a modern, hybrid shoe that perfectly suited the game of one of basketball’s most dynamic young players. The meshed tongue and ankles kept the point guard cool even in the face of pressure from opponents like Andre Iguodala and Dwight Howard, while the Phylon midsole made sure he stayed comfortable while remaining incredibly light on his feet.

No. 7 - Kevin Garnett x Nike Air Max Uptempo

Year: 1996
Location: Alamodome; San Antonio, Texas

KG has worn pretty much every brand of shoe that exists, and is currently repping a Chinese company. However, in the 1996 Rookie Challenge, Garnett went with a more classic shoe, the Nike Air Max Uptempo. The spry forward who was just 18 years old at the time was able to elevate and throw down over the likes of Rasheed Wallace and Jerry Stackhouse thanks to the full-length Max Air cushioning along the sole of his shoes. While he didn’t set any records, Garnett posted solid numbers across the board with 8 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists in just 17 minutes of action.

No. 6 - Brandon Jennings x Under Armour Prototype 2

Year: 2010
Location: American Airlines Center; Dallas, Texas

The Bucks’ young point guard broke from tradition when he spurned the traditional sneaker powers and signed with Under Armour as a rookie, but if his performance in the Rookie Challenge is any indication, he clearly made the right choice. Jennings wore the Under Armour Prototype 2, a lightweight sneaker that allowed him to carve up the sophomores to the tune of 22 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds. The shoe utilizes the “Heat Gear” technology Under Armour typically reserves for its clothes, which ventilates and wicks moisture away from Jennings’ feet as he cuts up opposing defenses.

No. 5 - Blake Griffin x Nike Air Max Fly By

Year: 2011
Location: Staples Center; Los Angeles, California

Blake Griffin has never really been one to feel constrained by the limits of gravity, so it should come as no surprise that for the 2011 Rookie Challenge he chose the Nike Air Max Fly By in a one-time only colorway. With Hyperfuse technology used in the design of the upper, the Fly By allowed the Clippers’ star to do what he does best: soar through the air over his opponents. After winning the dunk contest but before playing in the actual All-Star game, Griffin helped the rookie team earn a rare victory over the sophomores by scoring 14 points, including one highlight-reel alley-oop from MVP John Wall.

No. 4 - Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway x Nike Air Go LWP

Year: 1994
Location: Target Center; Minneapolis, Minnesota

Penny Hardaway became an instant sensation after being traded to Orlando on the day of the draft, and together with second-year center Shaquille O’Neal formed one of the most talented young duos the league had ever seen. In the 1994 Rookie Challenge, Penny showed just how good we was by pouring in 22 points on 8-of-9 shooting, earning the game’s MVP trophy. For that performance, he took the court in the Nike Air Go LWP. This extremely lightweight shoe was perfect for the slashing, speed-oriented game that made Penny such a force on the court, and the Max Air heel and Zoom Air forefoot cushioning kept him balanced and comfortable as he crossed up defenders.

No. 3 - Allen Iverson x Reebok Question Mid

Year: 1997
Location: Gund Arena; Cleveland, Ohio

There was a time when Allen Iverson was considered a scrawny point guard who needed to prove he could hang with the bigger players in the NBA. His rookie year put that question to rest forever, as he announced his arrival with a monster performance in the Rookie Challenge by scoring 19 points, dishing 9 assists and grabbing 4 rebounds in just 26 minutes. Prior to the season, Reebok had given him his own signature shoe line, and in those shoes he proved why he was one of the best rookies of all time. Iverson’s Reebok Question was the company’s first shoe to employ the honey-comb shaped Hexalite cushioning system, which gave AI unprecedented comfort and support as he drove to the hoop against his much larger opponents.

No. 2 - Kyrie Irving x Nike Zoom Hyperdunk 2011 Rising Stars PE

Year: 2012
Location: Amway Center; Orlando, Florida

With his performance at last year’s Rookie Challenge, Kyrie Irving proved that there will be life after LeBron in Cleveland. He took home game MVP honors with a 34 point, 9 assist outburst and was nearly flawless from the floor, going 12-for-13 overall and 8-for-8 from three-point land. What sneakers allowed him to dominate like this? The Nike Zoom Hyperdunk 2011. The updated Flywire 3.0 technology kept his foot locked in and stable, while the Phylon midsole and Zoom Air cushioning kept him comfortable as he maneuvered all over the floor, quickly changing direction and fooling defenders thanks also in part to the modified herringbone pattern on the outsole.

No. 1 - LeBron James x Nike Air Zoom Generation Wheat

Year: 2004
Location: Staples Center; Los Angeles, California

Even though he wasn’t the MVP of the Rookie Challenge in his first season, LeBron James stole the show with his Nike Air Zoom Generations in their “wheat” colorway. It was LeBron’s first signature shoe, and it set the tone for every future model of LeBrons. The Zoom Air cushioning and Sphere temperature-regulating material provided the Cavs’ sensation with incredible comfort as he was swarmed by sophomore opponents such as Amare Stoudemire and Carlos Boozer, and the chrome-colored bumper also served as a heel stabilizer that ensured LeBron’s feet stayed firmly in place regardless of whether he was operating near or away from the basket. Considering he dropped33 points to go along with 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals, I’d say the shoes did their job.

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