17. Patrick Ewing ventures out on his own.
Sneaker: Ewing Athletics
In 1989 it was rare enough for a basketball player to have his own sneaker, let alone his own brand. Even Michael Jordan didn't have that yet. So when Patrick Ewing left adidas to start his own company, this was an unprecedented, risky move (even with David Falk's involvement). But it worked-for a while, anyway. Ewing Athletics made some noise in the early '90s before collapsing due to various reasons around '96. And as the recent revival has shown, the name still resonates.