Forget Air Jordans, Get Your Phil Jackson Kicks

The coach known for sitting down has got a shoe deal

Who wants the Zoom Kobe IV when you can have the new Phil Jackson kicks?

Jackson, the coach known for sitting stoically on the sidelines regardless of how his team is doing, has teamed up with Adidas for a new shoe. The Phil Jackson Artillery shoe is a high-top that comes in two color schemes — Lakers purple and yellow, or Bulls red and black. The shoes will have an “X” on the back to represent Jackson’s 10 NBA titles as a coach.

From the drawings, these look like high quality basketball shoes, not the padded shoes of a senior citizen who has had two hips replaced. Still, it’s a little ironic that in a shoe market where only the top few players can even get a signature shoe, the slow-moving Jackson is going to get one.

Certainly Phil Jackson the player didn’t have any shoe contracts. First off, nobody did back in the 1970s, and even if they had Phil Jackson was a role player, a guy who did the dirty work for the New York Knicks.

As Roland Lazenby, author of several books on Jackson and the Lakers, said on Twitter Thursday: “If PJ endorses it should be elbow pads, he broke lotta noses as a player.”

But Adidas will latch on to anyone who can sell a shoe right now. Nike’s Jordan line still dominates the market years after his retirement like Jordan himself dominated the league. Meaning it’s a virtual monopoly. Everyone else, including Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, are just picking up the scraps.

At least this will be another area Jackson beats Red Auerbach — how many shoes did he sell? Of course, neither of them are Chuck Taylor when it comes to shoes.

Kurt Helin lives in Los Angeles where he wears flip flops while running the NBA/Lakers blog Forum Blue & Gold (which you can also follow in twitter).

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