LeBron's teal & black kicks a nod to The Kid

February 13th, 2021

NBA superstar LeBron James orchestrated a huge comeback for the Lakers on Friday night, and he did so while turning back the clock with some classic kicks.

James dusted off his Ken Griffey Jr.-inspired LeBron 15 Nike sneakers for Los Angeles’ 115-105 win over the Memphis Grizzlies at the Staples Center, leading his Lakers back to victory in a game they trailed, 22-2, in the opening minutes. His teal-and-black shoes were a throwback tribute to Griffey’s iconic Air Griffey Max 1 model, originally released by Nike in 1996.

James has never been shy about showing his adoration for Griffey, who is just getting underway in his new role as senior advisor to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. (Prior to the 15, Nike released a Griffey-inspired version of the LeBron 9.) He originally met the Hall of Fame outfielder in 2003 a day after being drafted to the Cavs, when he threw out the first pitch before an Indians-Reds game in Cleveland. They clearly hit it off, as a few months later, LeBron spent his first Christmas as a pro at the Griffeys' house in Orlando.

"He came over to the house and we had dinner and watched a game," Griffey recalled last year, "and I’ve been a big fan of his ever since. He’s done some things with his school and being an activist that are just phenomenal. Let alone being a great basketball player, he’s just a great person.”

The feeling is clearly mutual, and if you want to honor “The Kid” like LeBron did on Friday, you’re in luck: Nike is set to re-release the Air Griffey Max 1 with its original “Freshwater” color scheme on Monday morning.