This Could Have Been Allen Iverson's Signature Nike Shoe

The Answer explains his meeting with Nike in 1996.

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Allen Iverson's signing with Reebok in 1996 is still one of the most monumental endorsement deals in sneaker history. But there was a moment where Nike tried to convince the basketball legend to sign with the Swoosh.

In the latest episode of Complex's Sneaker Shopping, host Joe La Puma asked Iverson about meeting with Nike prior to signing with Reebok. In a 2021 episode of The Complex's Sneakers Show, longtime Nike and Jordan exec Gentry Humphrey revealed that the brand presented Iverson with a proposed "Bubba Chuck" model, which he described as a cross between an Air Jordan 11 and a Zoom Flight 95. According to Nick DePaula, the sneaker in question ended up being the Nike Air Flight Turbulence, pictured below, which fits the desctiption with it's patent leather overlay and pod detailing in the midsole.

Black and white Nike sneaker with wavy design and two Nike swoosh logos

"I remember that like it was yesterday. That was a big decision for me, Iverson said. "[Nike] had a shoe, but I was convinced when I went into a meeting with Reebok that that's what I wanted to do. They were great salespeople. They made me comfortable about getting to where I'm at right now."

The Nike Air Flight Turbulence was released in 1996 and was designed by Nike veteran Aaron Cooper. The sneaker was introduced during the golden era of Nike Basketball footwear during the mid-'90s and was popularized by players including Gary Payton, Terrell Brandon, and Damon Stoudamire.

Despite uncovering Iverson's quiet history with Nike, Iverson's partnership with Reebok is still going strong. Last year, Reebok named Iverson as the VP of basketball, with fellow basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal announced as the brand’s president of basketball.