MIAMI — LeBron James’ sneakers received a lot of attention during Tuesday’s Heat-Cavaliers game.
That’s not surprising, as James debuted a new pair of shoes — the Nike LeBron 15 “South Beach” — that matched the colors used in the Heat’s Vice jerseys. But the sneakers that Dwyane Wade wore in that game were pretty cool, too.
Wade wore his Li-Ning “All City 6” shoes, but they looked a little different Tuesday. That’s because he had Miami-based artist Rey Jaffet paint directly on them.
“He came to my house [Monday] and we started it, and he finished it [Tuesday],” Wade said. “I loved it. It was cool. It was different. It was a half and half situation, different colors. We talked about what I wanted to see on them, what kind of colors and we kind of went from there.”
Each sneaker was painted a different color, as Jaffet definitely left his imprint on the shoes. The final result was what Wade was looking for — artistic kicks.
“The only thing I talked to him about is I wanted something that kind of looked like the flame in the Heat logo,” Wade said. “From there, I wanted him to be creative and kind of do what he thought would look good and was artistic. So it kind of came as he was going. He was just coming up with stuff and that’s what artists do. It was cool.”
How did Wade meet Jaffet? Jaffet’s father, who is also named Rey Jaffet, worked as a full-time member of the Heat’s training staff for six seasons up until the end of the 2013-14 season and assisted the Heat with the rehabilitation of their players for 17 years.
“I’ve been knowing him for 15 years now,” Wade said of the younger Jaffet. “I remember when he was 13, he got into being an artist and knew what he wanted to do. So over the years, I’ve supported him in certain things that he’s done. He does a lot of bigger things than design shoes. But I just reached out to him when I got back [to Miami] and said, ‘Hey, man. I would love for you to be able to do some of your art on a pair of my sneakers.’ So it just worked out that we were able to do it.”
And moving forward, Wade plans to ask him to work on more of his shoes.
“I want to do more,” he said. “It caught the attention of even my brand – Li-Ning. I told [Jaffet] yesterday, ‘We may need to sit down and talk about doing a couple throughout the season or whatever the case may be.’ You never know what it can turn into. But it was something fun.”