They don’t call him “Swaggy P” for nothing. Other than Nick Young’s basketball skills, the Los Angeles Laker is known for his killer sneaker game and unique off-court style. You can catch Nick on the court with a pair of rare kicks on his feet, or showcasing his style and dope shoe collection on Instagram. In a brief conversation, Swaggy P talked to Complex Sneakers about his massive sneaker collection, debuting the Kobe 9 in the NBA, and how he's still trying to get his hands on a pair of red Air Yeezy IIs.
First things first. Where does the nickname “Swaggy P” come from?
Just from hanging around the homies, and how I dress. They just came up with something and I just ran with it. They would talk about how my jeans are too skinny, and my style is different.
I know you have a crazy sneaker game, how many pairs do you own?
Man. I don’t even know. It’s too many right now. My brother has been coming to take sneakers and everybody has been coming for sneakers lately. I’ve been losing some, gaining some. I probably have 200 to 300 pairs.
I need to get those Red Octobers. I need to see if me and Nike can talk
Do you have a pair of sneakers with sentimental value?
Probably the “Swaggy P” Nike Kobe 9 sneakers. For Nike and Kobe to let me debut the sneakers, that was pretty big. They’re sold out everywhere since I wore them. I need to get a percentage [laughs].
What was it like to be the first person in the NBA to wear the Kobe 9 Elite? Are they comfortable?
Yeah they’re great, I just got to get used to them. I haven’t worn high, hi-tops in a while. All Kobe’s prior shoes were low tops. They’re hot though.
On the court you’ve been bringing out a lot of exclusive kicks, Nike IDs, and classics. What do you think you’ll be rocking for your next game?
You know, it’s been tough finding Laker colors. I’ll come up with something. I’m thinking about the old Dennis Rodman Nike sneakers. I might have to bring those out.
Is there a pair of sneakers you’re really trying to get your hands on right now?
Man. I need to get those Red Octobers. I need to see if me and Nike can talk [laughs]. They did some Beyonce, and just dropped the shoe. Nobody knew.
Other than yourself who would you consider the most stylish athlete?
I like Russ [Westbrook]. I just like how everybody [embraces style] now, and it’s turned into a big thing. You really have to step your game up. Try to do something different, it’s fun though. I know everybody in the NBA watches each other's styles. They might not admit it, but they do.
Do you have a stylist?
I’m not too big on stylists. I find it fun just looking for myself, seeing if I can put things together. It’s like a secondary hobby for me. If I could be a stylist, I would style somebody.
I know everybody in the NBA watches each other's styles. They might not admit it, but they do.
So you would potentially do styling in the future?
I’m thinking about it. I’m thinking about coming out with an app or something.
Where do you get your style influence from?
I look at Pharrell Williams. I was a big Pharrell fan back in the day. Him, Kanye, and just from picking up things from street fashion.
Can you see yourself with a clothing line or collaborating with a designer in the near future?
Yeah, most definitely. I’m working on that now. I’ve done a couple of shirts here and there, but that’s about it. Probably in the summer when I have free time, that’s what I will work on. During the season it’s kind of tough.
What are some of your favorite brands or designers?
Saint Laurent, Givenchy. I pretty much try to wear everything.
How would you describe your style in one word?
In one word… Swaggy.