It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye: Nick Young Moves On From Nike And Jordan

Last night, we were witness to the end of an era. Like all great things in sports, whether it be Cal Ripken Jr.’s streak of 2,632 consecutive games or the Undertaker’s undefeated run at Wrestlemania or the number of times Kobe Bryant has given a coach the death stare, there comes a time when we all have to move on and begin a new chapter. And for one Nick Young – also known to the world as “Swaggy P” – it was time. Time to wear adidas. Wait, what?!

Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports
Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports

After beginning the preseason in the Air Jordan 11 Low IE in Hawaii like we all expected him to do, Young broke free last night and wore the adidas D Lillard 1 against Maccabi Haifa in preseason action at Staples Center. It marked the first time on court that Swaggy P has worn a shoe with zero hype in… ok, that might have been the first recorded instance that Swaggy P has worn a pair of kicks with zero hype (Sorry, Dame, we’re all waiting for D Lillard 2 now…).

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Young would be wearing something that didn’t have a swoosh or a Jumpman on it. He made waves during the summer when he tweeted that he would wear whichever brand paid him, signaling that maybe things were not all well and good between himself and Nike. Young has also been pictured in and around Los Angeles wearing both the adidas Yeezy Boost 350 and 750; signaling that a move to the three stripes was eminent. While there is no official announcement as of this post that adidas has signed Swaggy P, the likelihood of a return to the swoosh seems unlikely at this point.


USA Today
USA Today

There’s a reason why we love Nick Young here at the Kicks On Fire offices. Sure, he’s not the greatest basketball player and maybe having him around in any other role besides “shameless gunner who maybe can shoot you back into a game” is a bad idea, but he brought a sincere joy to many a losing squad. Starting in his early days with the Washington Wizards alongisde with fellow happy person JaVale McGee to his brief stint with the neighboring Los Angeles Clippers to now with the Lakers, you never knew what you were going to get with Swaggy P on a nightly basis other than the guarantee that it was going to put a smile (or make you pull your hair out if you care about wins or loses) on your face.  And he was a sneaker superstar on top of that? You couldn’t ask for a better guy to be named “Swaggy P.”

Young’s time rocking Nikes and Jordans was the stuff of legend. If there was ever a slow night for NBA Kicks recaps, you can always count on Swaggy P to break out something you haven’t seen in a long time or a NIKEiD pair that was unlike anything else out there. He’s also good for the occasional hilarious quote and funny interview, like the time we talked about Call of Duty or when he said that he would never wear Jordans again because of Michael Jordan’s role in the 2011 NBA lockout but proceeded to wear the Air Jordan 11 “Concord” a few days later.

All of this is to say, thanks for the memories, Swaggy P. You’ll start a new journey at whatever brand you end up with or you’ll go right back to Nike and Jordan a few days later. Either way, we’ll be there to support the cause and smile all the way through. You know, because this ain’t that serious.