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Nike Basketball Signatures of Christmas Past

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The tradition of special Christmas colorways for signature sneakers is one of the longer running ones with respect to Nike Basketball. That day has consistently been an important one for footwear enthusiasts thanks to the countless energy colorways and the occasional brand new model debuted during the Christmas day games. The theme has, out of necessity, evolved over the years beyond the standard red, white, and green. Just take a look at this year’s shoes for example; you’ve got the LeBron 11 featuring a snowflake decal, the KD 6 with Fair Isle sweater style graphics, and a Kobe 8 with scales practically jumping off the body of the shoe. The Christmas sigs by Nike have evolved from much simpler forms of previous years, and we can only expect the Swoosh to get even more festive in coming years.

You might be asking yourself why we’re ignoring the various stray Christmas shoes that also hit on that day like the Hyperdunks and others from Nike or the pairs of other brands that ended up on the hardwood. Consider this: Nike Basketball is in better shape than it’s ever (possibly in history) been thanks to this trio of elite NBA players. It is their signature lines that have been carrying the weight in the sneakerhead world, so we’re starting things off with the first time the full trio hit the court in a set of colorways clearly inspired by Christmas: December of 2009. Continue reading for a breakdown of Nike Basketball’s signature Christmas releases from then on and let us know down in the comments which is your favorite of all these Durant, Kobe, and LeBron sneakers.

In 2009, Nike Basketball introduced a true set of energy colorways for the holiday – the Nike Zoom Kobe V “Chaos” and the Nike Air Max LeBron VII “Christmas”. Luckily, NBA fans were in for a treat as the two power house teams in their respective conferences went head to head in a tough battle. Not pictured is Kevin Durant, who at the time was slowly and surely building his own legend with the young and talented OKC Thunder.

2010 was the first year that a true “Christmas” theme was built in to all three signature models. The Nike LeBron 8, Zoom Kobe VI, and Zoom KD III were all distinctly spectacular in their own right. LeBron unveiled the V2 trim for the first time, Kobe rocked what is deemed one of his best shoes ever in the “Grinch”, and Kevin Durant joined in with an all-yellow pair – one of the true underrated KDs to this day.

This was the first Christmas that the Big Three did not overlap on the holiday game schedule. Kobe, LeBron, and KD were spread out around the league, but their kicks were still tied together with an awesome theme. LeBron went a classic yule-tide combination of red and green, Durant’s all-copper pair was inspired by his mother’s holiday baking, and Kobe’s brought some animalistic flavor with the Leopard print on the colorful concept.

Was 2012 the best year in Christmas kicks? It does put up a good argument thanks to LeBron’s red/green pair, Kobe’s Christmas Lights, and KD’s “pixel” inspired by his favorite childhood video games. What do you think?

This upcoming Christmas Day string of games is going to be a good one, with the Big Three up for some exciting action. Be sure to check out the Nike Basketball Christmas 2013 Pack on December 25th – one day before the official release.

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