Kyrie Irving
Image via USA Today

From Air Jordans to the LeBron line, signature sneakers are the platform for brands to introduce their latest technologies and concepts through the NBA’s top names. Generally, basketball players endorse more signature shoes than any other sport. Brands will often fight tooth and nail to land the hottest young stars, and the best of the bunch are honored with their very own signature model.

In recent years, sig sneakers from guys like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, and Carmelo Anthony have been some of the most popular options for ballers. The success of these styles can be partially attributed to a phenomenon that has been evident since the days of the original Air Jordans: wearing the same shoes as your favorite player just makes you feel like you’re a better player, whether subconsciously or consciously. In fact, the real hoop dreamers might even believe they’ve picked up some of their hero’s skills.

What about the players that consistently play on a superstar level and have devoted fan bases, yet for one reason or another, don’t get their own shoes? During the '90s, several Hall of Famers like John Stockton and Reggie Miller were among some of the greatest players to not have a signature model.

On today’s NBA hardwood, there are more player-endorsed models than ever before. Many of the game’s top names, such as Dwyane Wade, Kevin Love, and Rajon Rondo, have jumped to overseas brands for their personalized styles. However, there are still a number of guys deserving of signature footwear that currently wear in-line models. These are our picks for The 10 NBA Players That Deserve a Signature Shoe, including which brands and technologies would benefit each star.

Riley Jones is a freelance writer from Charlottesville, VA and a contributor to Sneaker Report. With an unshakable affinity for basketball and all things ’90s, he can be found on Twitter @rchrstphr.

RELATED: Baller Problems: When NBA Players Criticize Their Own Signature Shoes
RELATED:
25 NFL Players That Deserve a Signature Training Shoe

DeMar DeRozan
Image via USA Today

No. 10 – DeMar DeRozan

After being drafted 9th overall in 2009, DeMar DeRozan quickly rose to an elite level. He’s currently Toronto’s leading scorer as well as #11 on the NBA’s top scorers, and he’s managed to improve his stats in almost every category each season. If there was ever a perfect time to scoop up the speedy shooting guard, right now is when brands should be taking notice. He’s known for rotating between a variety of Nike and Jordan Brand kicks, so we’d suggest something with Zoom Air and Hyperfuse for this play that is showing no signs of slowing down.

John Wall
Image via USA Today

No. 9 – John Wall

In 2011, John Wall had his first official signature shoe as a member of Reebok. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite work out between the two parties and the fourth year star is now one of the faces of the adidas adipure Crazyquick. Although he’s yet to really break out as a top tier superstar, Wall may have the most potential of anyone on this list. adidas would be wise to lace him in a personalized model that makes use of technologies in the Crazyquick.

Damian Lillard
Image via USA Today

No. 8 – Damian Lillard

The Portland Trail Blazers have been one of the 2013-14 season’s biggest surprises, and their tenacious point guard has been a huge factor in their success. The 2012-13 Rookie of the Year is still young enough that a brand could swoop in early and potentially build a legacy. Lately, he wears the adidas Rose 4, but there’s no reason he shouldn’t be in his own style sooner than later.

Russell Westbrook
Image via USA Today

No. 7 – Russell Westbrook

Westbrook was chosen as the face of the Air Jordan XX8, but at the end of the day, that’s Mike’s shoe, whether he plays in them or not. His OKC teammate Kevin Durant’s line has continued to flourish, and at this point, Westbrook’s more than deserving of his own. After countless PE’s, we think it’d make sense for Russell to be stick with the explosive Flight Plate technology, and maybe mix it up with an Engineered Mesh or Flyknit construction.

DeMarcus Cousins
Image via USA Today

No. 6 – DeMarcus Cousins

This fourth year big man has been right at home in models like the supportive Nike LeBron XI, but as he begins his best season yet, we think it’s time he gets his own model. DeMarcus’ game has benefitted from the structured, breathable support of Hyperposite technology in the LeBron XI, so carrying over this tech and throwing in further impact protection with an Air Max sole would suit the 6’11”, 270 lbs center.

Kyrie Irving
Image via USA Today

No. 5 – Kyrie Irving

Need proof that Kyrie Irving has ventured into superstar territory? Check out this LeBron-esque moment from last week, when a fan came on the court in a “Kyrie Don’t Leave” shirt. Nike’s been a great fit for Kyrie, but they’ve also got a full house over at the Swoosh basketball department. A player with the potential of Irving could easily follow in the foot steps of players like Dwyane Wade and pave their own path.

LaMarcuis Aldridge
Image via USA Today

No. 4 – LaMarcus Aldridge

The unstoppable machine behind the Portland Trail Blazers’ 21-4 season start is center LaMarcus Aldridge. He’s been in the league for seven seasons, but the hulking big man looks like he’s just hitting his prime. We’ve seen him in PE editions of the Nike Hyperposite, which combined Air Max, Hyperfuse, and Foamposite technologies for an ultra-supportive feel. We’d like to see Nike revisit the original in Foam tech, which never got a proper sequel anyway. Nike Air Foamposite Two anyone?

Image via USA Today
Image via USA Today

No. 3 – Paul George

On paper, the Indiana Pacers’ 20-3 start may seem surprising, but if you’ve been keeping up with the rise of Paul George, it’s business as usual. After finding his zone last year, George is currently playing the best basketball of his life, and as one of Indiana’s leaders, he’s officially signature-worthy. Paul George is the kind of player that can do a little bit of everything, and if he sticks with Nike, a Hyperfuse and Zoom Air based sneaker would suit his game well.

Image via USA Today
Image via USA Today

No. 2 – James Harden

James Harden is a shooting guard that plays more like a power forward. Steadily improving, he’s managed to put together one of the best individual runs thus far in the 2013-14 season. His 2012 transfer to Houston not only helped the Rockets, but it helped Harden to break out away from the shadow of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Now, he’s running the show, and maybe Nike can tweak the Zoom Crusader before it hits retail shelves and make it an official Harden signature.

Stephen Curry
Image via USA Today

No. 1 – Stephen Curry

C’mon, who did you think would be here? Curry’s numbers are up yet again this season, averaging nearly 25 points and 10 assists per game. It’s no wonder that Under Armour scooped him up, but we can’t help but think they should have gone all the way and hooked Steph Curry up with his own sneaker. It’ll likely happen sooner than later, but there’s no better way to introduce a new brand acquisition than to flaunt it to the fullest with an aesthetically distinct, teched out sig shoe. Don’t get us wrong, the UA Anatomix Spawn is great, and his PE colorways are even sweeter, but a player like Curry should have had his own model a long time ago.

Riley Jones is a freelance writer from Charlottesville, VA and a contributor to Sneaker Report. With an unshakable affinity for basketball and all things ’90s, he can be found on Twitter @rchrstphr.

RELATED: Baller Problems: When NBA Players Criticize Their Own Signature Shoes
RELATED:
25 NFL Players That Deserve a Signature Training Shoe