Growing up just south of Seattle, Sacramento Kings Point Guard Isaiah Thomas was of course able to take in Shawn Kemp during his prime. It seems as if an eventual deal with Reebok was just meant to be. Not only was Thomas so close to Kemp during his glory days in the league and with the brand, but he has also been rocking Reeboks on-court ever since his AAU days.
"It's funny because I'm with Reebok now, but when I was growing up, my first AAU team was blue and gold, and my first team shoe were the yellow and blue Reebok Questions that were supposed to be for the All-Star game. That was my favorite Reebok shoe, and it's crazy that I'm actually sponsored by Reebok now, and I've had a relationship with Reebok for so long. Growing up in the Tacoma area, and being around for the hype of Shawn Kemp and his Reebok shoes, it made it that much easier."
Now under the restructured Reebok brand, Isaiah is one of a number of rising NBA ballers who have been chosen to act as a face of the company. Some may be surprised to even be seeing the 5'9" youngster playing in the league, much less sporting his own PEs, but the Kings saw something in the explosive guard, picking him 60th in the 2011 NBA Draft, and Reebok followed up shortly thereafter.
"They had faith in me, but a lot of it also had to do with a mentor of mine, Jason Terry, who is also with Reebok and from Seattle. He was pushing for me to get signed with Reebok as well. I think that had a lot to do with it, but they had seen me play, and they've known me for so long and were very interested. They had faith in me that I could prove a lot of people wrong, and that's what I'm trying to do."
Currently coming into full stride in the league, Reebok has since awarded Isaiah with a Kings-proper PE of the resurgent Kamikaze II. Thomas remembers the hype surrounding the original release of the Kamikazes, which of course now plays into the honor of wearing his own version of the classic hoops model.
"When they told me they were going to make them, I knew they'd be the Kings colors of course, so all I said was to put my two sons' names on them, Jaiden and James, and my little logo on them. They did that and made them from scratch from there. Every time I wear my Kamikazes, in the summer time or even in the games, people will be talking about them. Gerald Green last night was like, “Man, they need to make me some of those! I need to talk to Reebok.” [laughs] He just said, “You're the man, you're the only one with customized Kamikazes now.” [laughs] It's crazy, because they're a hot shoe right now, and I've got my own pair."
Accordingly, Sole Collector has provided with the on-hand look at Isaiah Thomas' new Kamikaze II PE from Reebok, as well as an in-depth interview to match. In addition to the excerpts we've provided, you can enjoy the conversation in full over at Sole Collector.