#KoFBestOf2015 is a look back at the year that was in sneakers, whether it’s actual sneakers or the people who wear them. One of the most prominent sneaker uh, wearers is newly signed adidas celebrity Nick Young. Notice we didn’t say athlete.


Last week, we finally saw the adidas Yeezy Boost 750 on an NBA court, but it wasn’t Jeff Teague or other adidas athletes who have claimed they were going to wear the much-hyped shoes. Nope, it came from a familiar face from our NBA Kicks recaps, the latest member of the adidas family, Nick Young. After a very long relationship with Nike since his USC days, Young became a sneaker free agent this season but it was clear from the start he was favoring adidas since he wore mostly three stripes during this period of time.

Young joins the likes of Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Pusha T and a long list of celebrities who have signed on to the brand in the past several years. Expect to see Young in sneakers ranging from the aforementioned Boosts (possibly even the adidas Yeezy Boost 750 Black sooner rather than later), some adidas Originals Superstars designed by Skateboard P and maybe even the King Push EQT Running Guidance for pregame. Wait, what?

You’re probably wondering why we don’t mention that he has worn kicks like the adidas Crazylight Boost 2015 or the adidas D Lillard 1. It’s because Swaggy has transcended his athlete status and become a celebrity for things outside of the court.

Prior to arriving in Los Angeles, Young was a cult hero among basketball nerds for his goofy antics with JaVale McGee and to sneakerheads for his amazing kick game. Tony Kornheiser famously derided Swaggy P’s less than one assist per game average, but it only added to the legend. He was entertainment personified, but if he stayed in Washington, he was just going to be a quirky name in NBA history. Then came the Lakers…

After a brief stay with the Clippers and a one-year stopover in Philly, Young joined the Lakers for the 2013-14 season and never looked back. His antics filled NBA Twitter with so much joy that they could hardly contain themselves when he put on displays like this…

Nick Young Into Nowhere

And this…

Nick Young Pump Fake

And of course..

Classic Swaggy P

Here’s the thing: many NBA players have done similar or worse antics in the past, but Swaggy P gets a pass because he does it in a genuine way that you feel like while he does want to win, he also wants to have fun in the process.

Pau Gasol Swaggy P

It would be one thing if Swaggy P was just the lovable kid with the amazing shoe collection. But because he does all this in the bright lights of Los Angeles and he chooses to have fun with that spotlight it leads to opportunities and situations that he might not otherwise get anywhere else. Such as becoming a meme while filming a mini-doc…

Cassy Athena
Cassy Athena

Or dating and eventually getting engaged to a pop star…

Swaggy and Iggy

And showing up on a lip syncing show without knowing the damn words to the song that you’re lip syncing…

FiveThirtyEight’s projections list Swaggy P’s comparables as John Long, Leandro Barbosa and Gary Neal. Nobody outside of the NBA’s most die-hard (and old because nobody under the age of 40 knows who John Long is) of fans can identify those three guy and yet Swaggy is a worldwide phenomenon. That goes to show you how amazing his rise to fame has been. Maybe the big market doesn’t matter as much to superstars like Kevin Durant or LeBron James, but it absolutely mattered to Nick Young.

So what can we expect to see from Swaggy now that he endorses the three stripes? Kind of like how Kanye West’s reach is amplified exponentially thanks his connection with the Kardashian family, Swaggy’s influence casts a wider net because of his own personal social media following but also because his fianc√© is quite the celebrity herself.¬† Every red carpet she gets invited to that he gets to tag along on a day off from the Lakers is another opportunity to be seen wearing Yeezys or the new adidas NMD. Sneakerheads like to scoff at that stuff, but millions of people who read magazines like US Weekly or check out gossip sites see Iggy and see Swaggy wearing adidas kicks that might pique their interest.

Who knows? Maybe 2016 will bless us with a Swaggy P signature shoe. Just don’t expect it to be something to wear on the court like the Yeezys were clearly meant to be*….

*Jokes, people. Jokes…