When it comes to shoes on the NBA court, multiple factors play a role in why players wear them. Style and look are important, but comfort rules over all. Players will switch shoes for various reasons and one interesting is superstition. A bad game or bad performance can lead to a player deciding to change it up and switch shoes during halftime. We've seen players such as the great LeBron James and Kobe Bryant improve their game after changing shoes during the half break and look like different people on the court after the change. Take a look at the Statistics for Players Who Have Switched Sneakers at Halftime.
Rafael Canton is a freelance writer from Queens, NY and contributor to Sneaker Report. Anytime there is a conversation about the NBA, music, or nutella, he can be found in the thick of the discussion. He can be found on Twitter @RafelitoC7.
Shoes Worn Before Halftime: Air Jordan XIII "Bred"
Shoes Worn After Halftime: Air Jordan XI "Bred"
Team: Milwaukee Bucks
Game: 3/16/2012 @ Golden State Warriors
Stats Before Halftime: 10 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3-for-9 shooting, 0 turnovers
Stats After Halftime: 8 points, 0 rebounds, 2 assists, 3-for-5 shooting, 1 turnover
It was a homecoming for Monta Ellis as he had been recently traded from Golden State to the Milwaukee Bucks three days prior to this game. Ellis wore the Air Jordan XIII "Bred" during the first half as Milwaukee jumped out to a 13-point halftime lead. His 3-for-9 shooting in the first half wasn't good enough for him, so Ellis decided to switch it up to the Air Jordan XI "Bred" for the second half. Milwaukee held its halftime lead as Ellis picked up the ultimately sweet return victory against his former team.
Shoes Worn Before Halftime: adidas Rose 3 "Home"
Shoes Worn After Halftime: adidas Rose 3 "Brenda"
Team: Portland Trail Blazers
Game: 2/4/2013 @ Minnesota Timberwolves
Stats Before Halftime: 9 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 4-for-9 shooting, 1 turnover
Stats After Halftime: 12 points, 1 rebound, 1 assists, 5-for-8 shooting, 4 turnovers
Damian Lillard must've felt uncomfortable when he switched from the adidas Rose 3 "Home" to the "Brenda" colorway. The future Rookie of the Year upped his performance from the field in the second half with a more efficient 5-for-8 shooting and 12 points. He did have 4 turnovers, but the Blazers could live with that since they won the game 100-98.
Shoes Worn Before Halftime: Air Jordan 2010 PE White Base
Shoes Worn After Halftime: Air Jordan 2010 PE Red Base
Team: Miami Heat
Game: 11/11/2010 vs. Boston Celtics
Stats Before Halftime: 2 points, 0 rebounds, 1 assist, 0-for-6 shooting, 3 turnovers
Stats After Halftime: 6 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 2-for-6 shooting, 3 turnovers
Sometimes, it's not a player's day regardless of what sneakers they decide to wear on the court that day. Wade put up a stinker in the first half of Miami's Veteran's Day matchup with the Boston Celtics during the 2010-11 season. The All-Star guard missed all six of his shots and had 3 turnovers as Boston jumped out to a 61-46 halftime lead. Wade's change of shoes helped a little bit as he was able to knock down a couple of shots. Miami made the game close, but couldn't overcome Wade's iffy performance as they lost early in the season to the Celtics 112-107.
Shoes Worn Before Halftime: Reebok ZigTech Slash "Black/Gold/Instinct Blue"
Shoes Worn After Halftime: Reebok ZigTech Slash "White/Instinct Blue/Minnesota Tan"
Team: Washington Wizards
Game: 10/28/2010 @ Orlando Magic
Stats Before Halftime: 6 points, 0 rebounds, 4 assists, 3-for-13 shooting, 1 turnover
Stats After Halftime: 8 points, 1 rebound, 5 assists 3-for-6 shooting, 2 turnovers
Rookie debuts can be very rough. Usually, the top rookies start off their careers on bad teams, but it's even worse when that debut is against the Eastern Conference contenders at the time Orlando Magic with their centerpiece Dwight Howard manning the middle. John Wall struggled in his first official game going 3-for-13 in the first half as the Magic blitzed Washington 58-34. Wall performed a little bit better after a shoe change, but he still suffered a rude awakening with Orlando drubbing Washington 112-83.
Shoes Worn Before Halftime: Nike Zoom KD VI "Thunder Away"
Shoes Worn After Halftime: Nike Zoom KD VI "Patent Leather"
Team: Oklahoma City Thunder
Game: 11/16/2013 @ Milwaukee Bucks
Stats Before Halftime: 9 points, 2 rebounds, 0 assists, 3-for-10 shooting, 0 turnovers
Stats After Halftime: 15 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 4-for-5 shooting, 3 turnovers
Kevin Durant struggled in the first half, making only 3 of his 10 attempts from the field. That reflected the score as the elite Thunder were tied with a struggling Milwaukee Bucks team. Durant and the Thunder clapped on the Bucks in the second half by outscoring the Bucks by a total of 13 points in the second half. That patent leather shoe for Durant transferred over to his jump shot with Durant managing an efficient 15 points on 4-for-5 shooting after the cold start.
Shoes Worn Before Halftime: Air Jordan XI Low
Shoes Worn After Halftime: Air Jordan III "True Blue"
Team: New York Knicks
Game: 5/3/2013 @ Boston Celtics Game 6 First Round
Stats Before Halftime: 3 points, 4 rebounds, 0 assists, 1-for-5 shooting, 0 turnovers
Stats After Halftime: 10 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 4-for-8 shooting, 3 turnovers
J.R. Smith had an infamous first round experience against the Boston Celtics. The reigning Sixth Man of the Year elbowed Celtics guard Jason Terry in Game 3 and subsequently was suspended for Game 4 of the series. Smith got off to a bad start in Game 6, shooting 1-for-5 in the first half, but his team was playing well despite his individual struggles. The Knicks held on to the lead in the second half with Smith turning up his game. He scored 10 points in the series clincher as the Knicks won their first playoff series since 2000. Smith could really use some help and some sneaker changes during this current season as he has struggled mightily.
Shoes Worn Before Halftime: Nike Shox Vision TB "Blue"
Shoes Worn After Halftime: Nike Shox Vision TB "Black"
Team: Orlando Magic
Game: 11/22/2009 @ Toronto Raptors
Stats Before Halftime: 6 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2-for-11 shooting, 1 turnover
Stats After Halftime: 18 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 7-for-13 shooting, 0 turnovers
Some shoes are just plain bad luck. Take for instance Vince Carter. Air Canada returned to his old stomping grounds with the Magic and put together a horrific 2-for-11 shooting night in the first half. VC put on a different colorway of his Nike Shox Vision TB's and all was right with the world again. Carter scored 18 points in the second half as Orlando went on to win the game. Carter explained what went wrong after the game:
"My shoes in the first half were all blue," Carter said. "I changed back to the black ones, the old faithful that I wore in Boston."
Shoes Worn Before Halftime: Nike LeBron X "Carmex"
Shoes Worn After Halftime: Nike LeBron X "Grey"
Team: Miami Heat
Game: 3/3/2013 @ New York Knicks
Stats Before Halftime: 10 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 4-for-11 shooting, 2 turnovers
Stats After Halftime: 19 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 8-for-12 shooting, 0 turnovers
The flashy "Carmex" colorway of the Nike LeBron X must've blinded LeBron James because he finished the first half against the New York Knicks with a pedestrian 4-for-11 shooting and 2 turnovers. Even worse, his Heat were down by 14 at halftime to their Eastern Conference rivals. In the second half James kicked it into a second gear with numbers that most players need an entire game and a half to put together. Even better, LeBron's heat pulled off a comeback capped by this King James steal and finish in the "Grey" Nike LeBron X.
Shoes Worn Before Halftime: Nike LeBron X "MVP"
Shoes Worn After Halftime: Nike LeBron X "P.S. Elite Home PE"
Team: Miami Heat
Game: 5/6/2013 vs Chicago Bulls Eastern Conference Semifinals, Game 1
Stats Before Halftime: 2 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1-for-6 shooting, 2 turnovers
Stats After Halftime: 22 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 7-for-11 shooting, 0 turnovers
LeBron James has made a history of changing up his shoes, but during the playoffs he made a surprising turnaround after changing his shoes. LeBron wore the special MVP edition of his shoes in the first half of Miami's Game 1 matchup with the Chicago Bulls. James was awarded his 2013 regular season MVP trophy and wore the shoes for that reason. That was bad luck from the get go as James had just 2 points on 1-for-6 shooting. James rebounded with 22 points in the second half after switching to the much less eye-popping "P.S. Elite Home PE" colorway. That was all in vain though, as the Bulls took Game 1 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup.
Shoes Worn Before Halftime: Nike Hyperdunk Kobe PE
Shoes Worn After Halftime: Nike Zoom Kobe 3
Team: Los Angeles Lakers
Game: 5/21/2008 vs. San Antonio Spurs, Game 1 Western Conference Finals
Stats Before Halftime: 2 points, 1 rebound, 5 assists, 1-for-3 shooting, 1 turnover
Stats After Halftime: 25 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 10-for-18 shooting, 0 turnovers
Was it the shoes or the mindset? Kobe Bryant came out playing the facilitator in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals and it left the Lakers facing a 20-point deficit midway through the third quarter. Bryant turned on his scorer's switch with 25 points in the second half as the Lakers performed a miraculous comeback to defeat the defending champs. Bryant set the tone with his second half performance as the Lakers went on to win the series easily 4-1 with Bryant averaging 29.2 PPG on 53 percent shooting from the field in the series.