Sole Searching: Panini Authentic Examines Kyrie, Blake Game-Worn All-Star Shoes

February 23, 2014

Panini Authentic 2014 NBA ASG Kyrie Irving Shoes (2)

The luxury of time — seven days to be exact — has afforded the opportunity to reflect upon last Sunday’s 2014 NBA All-Star Game in search of the showcase event’s most lasting memories. Kyrie Irving’s scintillating MVP performance (31 points on 14-of-17 shooting and 14 assists) holds up, as does Blake Griffin’s dunk-induced 38-point outburst. Clearly, both Panini-exclusive athletes rose to the occasion during last Sunday’s game — and afterward.

Which brings us to one more vivid memory: The fact that Panini Authentic’s Brian Bayne is still something of a world-class shoe fetishist. And because he is, Panini Authentic recently took possession of some history-making new inventory.

Just minutes after the 2014 NBA All-Star Game ended last Sunday night in New Orleans, Panini Authentic representatives entered the East and West locker rooms to meet with Irving and Griffin, respectively. When they exited, they clutched four truly unique game-worn shoes: One pair of Irving’s Nike Zoom HyperRevs and one pair of Griffin’s Jordan Super.Fly 2s. Both custom colorways enjoyed first-class accommodations back to Panini America HQ. But their journey is far from complete.

Next, they’ll receive autographs and game-specific inscriptions from the superstar players who wore them in scheduled signings with Panini Authentic. After that, they’ll make what promise to be extremely short appearances on the Panini Authentic Website.

“The NBA All-Star Game is one of my favorite times of the year because of the opportunity it presents to reconnect with some of our outstanding exclusive athletes,” Bayne said. “The ability to acquire these true history-making pieces of memorabilia directly from the players benefits Panini Authentic, no question; but it’s about more than that. We consider these players to be members of the Panini family — and NBA All-Star Week offers us a chance every year for a reunion of sorts.”

For the record, Bayne and Panini Authentic have turned this game-worn NBA All-Star shoe acquisition bit into something of an annual tradition. After last year’s game in Houston, Panini Authentic secured a game-worn pair of Griffin’s lime-green Jordan Super.Fly 2s as well as two pairs of Kyrie gamers — the Cavs-colored Nike HyperDunks he wore while winning the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest and otherworldly, space-inspired Nike HyperDunks he wore one night later in his first NBA All-Star Game.

In the gallery that follows, we offer an unapologetic eye-candy buffet for sneakerheads everywhere detailing seemingly every juicy angle of the aforementioned kicks. Enjoy the views and be sure to check out Panini Authentic’s exclusive selection of Irving and Griffin autographed memorabilia.