The Los Angeles Lakers have one of the best young talents in the NBA: Brandon Ingram. Only 19 years old, he has a long way to go, but the first steps he is taking are pretty promising. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft has often been compared to Kevin Durant in terms of build, size and outside shooting. Indeed, he reminds you a lot of the tall, long-armed scoring dynamo of the Warriors! Only after 18 games into his NBA career has the North Carolina native already become a crucial component to the Lakers finishing lineup. There have been a lot of downs the last seasons with LA, but the rebuild mode of the franchise is starting to bear fruit. Brandon Ingram will play a key role in the attempt to lead the Purple and Gold back to stardom.
Little wonder that the 6-foot-9, 190-pound Ingram with a 7-foot-3 wingspan and a 9-foot-2 standing reach has drawn attention to his persona. While Ingram was preparing and training for the NBA last spring, his marketing team had already been entrusted with the task of sorting through his endorsement offers. adidas went all in on Brandon Ingram. Since the Three Stripes’ 11-year, $400 million uniform partnership with the NBA is ending after this season, the brand has a lot of resources to invest in young talents, gifted athletes and future franchise players. These efforts have been noticeable and efficient so far. In order to expand its roster of NBA professionals, the sports brand from Germany has been beating about the bush: after years of solely point guard-deals, it is finally time for forwards and wing scorers to land a kicks deal with the brand. Sure thing, Ingram hit the bull’s eye with adidas latest intentions. The LA Lakers’ shooting forward was presented to a five-year contract negotiated by his agent Jeff Schwartz, earning him at least $2 million annually. Not bad for this year’s star rookie!
LOS ANGELES LAKERS
2016-17: 7.6 (PPG), 1.7 (APG), 3.6 (RPG)
The Crazy Light Boost 2016 is the shoe Ingram will play in in the NBA season 16-17. The young designer, 22-year-old (!) Nick Daiber, helped to put the brand’s face-lift into effect. Introducing a new wave of players, adidas has made one big step forward, looking more stylish and innovative than ever before. Besides Brandon Ingram, four of the NBA’s most sought-after draft prospects have been welcomed to the hoops family of adidas this past summer. Jaylen Brown, Jamal Murray, Dragan Bender and Kris Dunn – future faces creating the future of the game. The bold offers made to the youngsters are an explicit token for adidas’ latest strategy of bringing in new talent, creating advanced footwear and modern apparel and thus, refreshing the design language.
The new class will join the ranks of the adidas basketball roster highlighted by NBA stars such as James “The Beard” Harden of the Houston Rockets, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers and Derrick Rose of the New York Knicks. While these three athletes are the only ones with their own signature shoes so far, there are dozens of PEs (Player Exclusives/ Player Editions): Another Knicks, Kristaps Porzingis joined Minnesota Timberwolves’ Andrew Wiggins in headlining their new Crazy Explosive model PEs. The adidas hoops family is growing and the signature shoes are flowering out. Damian Lillard, $10 million per year, Derrick Rose, $14.2 million per year and James Harden, $15.4 million per year – quite some cash to spend on the future. The signature players have proven their value to the brand so far – all of them are quite marketable in their own way, but James Harden and his latest collection of the ‘James Harden Volume 1’ are supposed to be adidas’ biggest draw moving forward.
Ingram and the other top NBA prospects are adidas’ answer to expand their basketball dominance in the league. Both their attempts lie in driving performance further. The Three Stripes’ portfolio is filled with explosive and highly athletic top stars. One further signature shoe spot is still to be filled. Can Lakers’ No. 14, Brandon Ingram, become the player adidas is looking for? Let’s see if his shoe game will rocket in the same way his game is unfolding so far. But one thing is for sure, the new class of basketball is taking over!
2016-17: 28.7 (PPG), 11.9 (APG), 7.2 (RPG)
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
2016-17: 28.2 (PPG), 5.3 (APG), 4.9 (RPG)
NEW YORK KNICKS
2016-17: 16.8 (PPG), 4.9 (APG), 4.4 (RPG)
In cooperation with FIVE MAG!