July 10th, 2014 by Brendan Dunne
There’s no doubt that New Balance is a brand most associated with running sneakers. The Boston based company has been in the footwear business for over a hundred years now, with the majority of their output consisting of models meant for the track, street, or trail. That’s not to say that they don’t have heavy hitters in other categories though. One need look no further than their partnership with Lakers legend James Worthy for evidence of that. In 1985 “Big Game James” became the brand’s first ever signature athlete following a million-dollar deal that marked the brand’s biggest foray into the world of basketball footwear, with the New Balance P740 being the first James Worthy sneaker to release. The partnership landed them plenty of exposure – the UNC alum would go on to win three championships with the Lakers in the 80s and was even named the NBA Finals MVP thanks to an incredible performance in 1988.
Plenty more James Worthy New Balance sneakers of course followed, and models like the 640, 780, and 785 rounded out his signature range. Just ahead of the 30th anniversary of the James Worthy/New Balance partnership, the brand has decided to take it all the way back to the originals with a reissue of the New Balance P740 “Worthy Express” sneaker. They made sure to do it justice too – the original “Worthy” script on the tongue returns and the exact specifications of the original silhouette were kept in mind during the production process. On top of that, James Worthy is back on board with the brand, and Sneaker News got the chance to speak with the legend on the topic of his returning signature shoes. Continue reading for our interview with “Big Game James” on his sneaker history with New Balance, as well as an exclusive set of photos on the 2014 release of the New Balance P740 “Worthy Express”.