January 13, 2011 BY Aaron Kr.
SN: The idea of releasing a high profile athlete’s signature model in 3 different phases is pretty unprecedented, not to mention ambitious. How did the concept to release three versions of the LeBron 8 come about?
JP: Well, the original spark came from LeBron talking about there being an 82 game and a 28 game season and the idea of how he looks at an NBA season as literally being two different seasons with two totally different mindsets. So springing from that and through some more conversations with him and with the creative team here, we thought of the idea of providing LeBron with a shoe for the playoffs, and you saw that with the LeBron 7 PS. He’s kind of always had that with the Soldier before, but when we switched it to the PS, that was the first hint towards what was to come. Those shoes were obviously related. They were kinda built together and linked together, but they were different solutions to the different mindsets.
SN: So the PS last year laid the groundwork for the 3-phase concept for the 8?
JP: Yeah and we just wanted to expand on that and say ‘Hey, can we break the season up even further based on what’s going on with LeBron?’ From day 1 of training camp and the pre-season, all the way up to the start of the season, All-Star Game, playoffs… So the idea was – when you come into training camp, your body is different than it is at the end of the season. Your mindset is different. You’re getting to know new teammates. You’re learning new plays and incorporating new things. So the V1 was like coming through with your brand new car showing off a little bit. You know, with that shoe you’ve got really nice leather mixed with technology like that Bentley coming through super fast with a lot of horsepower, but it’s beautifully detailed and crafted.
The whole shoe has that different feel to it, and its leading off, so as you go through the season, you get more in tune with your team, you memorize those plays, you know your spots on the floor and your roles and you’re really fine-tuning. And as your body is getting leaner, that’s what we wanted the shoe (V2) to represent. Something to give LeBron that extra boost in the doldrums of the season when you’re in Milwaukee on a Wednesday night and its 20 below. It’s like that benefit when you train in a shoe that has a little more weight to it. Because then when you play in something lighter, you feel lighter and you get a little more of a boost. And not that it’s that literal, but that’s kinda the thought process behind it.