P.J. Tucker has the sneaker world on high alert whenever his Houston Rockets take the court, and that was never more true than on Nov. 2 when he debuted Jerry Lorenzo’s collaborative Nike Air Fear of God 1 in Brooklyn against the Nets. It was a sneaker highlight in a season (and career) that’s been filled with them and according to Tucker, there’s more to come from him and Lorenzo. “We’ve got something else special coming with those—it’s not over,” he told Complex.
That the NBA’s reigning sneaker champ would debut the season’s most anticipated collab only made sense, and it was a plan that’d been months in the making. “I saw Jerry at Fashion Week in Paris this summer—that’s when he first told me he had something cookin’ up,” Tucker says. “He was like, ‘I need you to wear it.’ We already had a friendship, so I was like, ‘For sure.’ He showed me a prototype, and I just went crazy. I’d been waiting, so when they finally got ready, he sent ‘em. It was a blessing for him to send me all the colors.”
Tucker, who’s been known to wear off-court models like the “Red October” Nike Air Yeezy 2 in games, was especially impressed by the fact that Lorenzo’s collab was designed to be worn on court. “The silhouette and shoe is so dope, but then for it to be a performance shoe takes it to the next level and shows the direction Nike is going and the things that they can do. It’s unbelievable,” he says.
Just a few weeks prior to the Air Fear of God 1 debut, Tucker captured the sneaker world’s attention by rocking the ultra-exclusive, never-released “Beast” Zoom LeBron 2 against LeBron James in L.A.
He says that even though his friends didn’t believe he could get them, he’d heard a size 13 existed. And by chance, he located them in L.A. just as he was headed there to play the Lakers—which he took immediate advantage of by wearing them against James. “He just looked at me in the beginning and shook his head,” Tucker says with a laugh.
Whenever Tucker and Lorenzo unveil what they have planned next, the chance to see it may be brief—he’s not one to repeat his sneakers in games. “A lot of it I give away,” Tucker says of his game-worn sneakers. “The stuff that I love love, I keep. Obviously then I wear it again and hoop in, playin’ pickup or something. But I probably would never wear it in a game again, just ‘cause I don’t like to re-wear stuff a lot unless it’s a pair I love and I’ve got a bunch of pairs of. I just don’t wear stuff over.”