So here’s a name I didn’t expect to hear at the Nike Vapor Untouchable presentation.
Wait, what? They meant LaMichael James, right? Former Oregon and San Franciso 49er running back LaMichael James, isn’t it? Turns out his family and circle of friends always called him LaMike, but everybody called him LaMichael on television so the name stuck to him.
But now that the name confusion is out of the name, we had a chance to talk with LaMike about his time as a Duck and what that meant to him to as a Nike athlete that he was always at the forefront of what the swoosh was doing. We also touch on his favorite sneakers, how he stays connected to the brand and a story about somebody offering him five grand for a pair of Jordans.
His time at Oregon:
I was there for the change actually (when Nike really honed in on pushing Oregon football). The uniforms were already great, but they kept saying ‘watch what we’ll have next year and watch what we’ll have in four to five years’. The best thing about that is all of the newest of what Nike has, we got it before everybody else does. Sneakers, workout pants, you name it. Before anybody gets it, Oregon does.
On his input with the brand:
Always, I remember seeing Tinker Hatfield on a plane once and he asked me what type of shoes I liked and I told him and a couple of weeks later we had these team shoes that were based on what I said. It’s pretty cool, man.
On their exclusive kicks and how he got them:
We would get them right before the game. So if we play on Saturday, we’ll get them on Friday and wear them with the matching uniforms. We’d all say that these are nice because Nike never failed, man. Now the Jordans, when you get to the pros, they send them to your locker and you open them and everybody is like ‘hey, I have (a crazy Jordan collection), how much you want for those?’
What’s the most (an NFL teammate) has ever offered you for a pair of Jordans:
Five thousand for a pair of Jordan 4s. I said no, of course. But yeah, five thousand.
On rivals who noticed what Oregon got:
Always, man. Oregon took care of us but when we got on the field, we always knew the other side was looking at our gear.
On his favorite kicks:
The Nike Air Force 1 Duckboots. Because I stay in Oregon and it rains a lot (laughs). And you gotta be fly when it rains and you can be fly in Air Force 1 Duckboots in the rain (laughs).