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A Complete Breakdown of Every Colorway on the Nike “What The LeBron 11”

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This morning Nike Basketball confirmed that the Nike LeBron 11 would be given the “What The” treatment when they unveiled this year’s range of mash-up models of that sort. And while the “What The” LeBron 11 does every bit of justice possible to that theme, it also does a fair amount of innovating by reaching beyond just the Nike LeBron 11 in terms of colorway inspiration. What results is a “What The” release that’s unlike any that we’ve seen before; instead of touching on popular colorways of the current model, Nike went to great lengths to devise this colorway, essentially creating a “greatest hits” of the LeBron signature shoe legacy.

The “What the LeBron” 11 pulls from 28 different prints from Nike LeBrons that span the over entire history of James’ sneaker line. The shoes are oozing with details drawn on the last decade plus of LeBron sneakers, and we’ve gone through the task of pointing out all the little inspirations that make up the premium pair (See if you can pick them all out first before you flip through our handy guide). Most, if not all, of these hits are featured in our Sneaker News March Madness Nike LeBron Tournament (and you should vote now if you haven’t). Continue reading to see which sneakers are referenced in the “What the” LeBron 11 and let us know what surprises you!

The Nike “What The LeBron 11” releases on May 31st at global retailers.

Nike Zoom LeBron 4 ‘Graffiti’
Graffiti handstyles on the front of the Hyperposite bucket come from the last LeBron signature before the 11 to utilize Posite on every pair.

Nike LeBron 10 ‘BHM’
The main left Swoosh is ported over directly from 2013’s Black History Month release.

Nike Zoom LeBron 6 ‘MVP’
The block script on the rear Hyperposite derives from the special release commemorating LeBron’s first NBA Most Valuable Player award.

Nike LeBron 10 Low ‘King’s Pride’
The Hyperfuse panel’s floral texture comes from the lining on this model’s first colorway.

Nike Zoom LeBron 2 ‘Birthday’
The faint grey pattern on the upper ties in with the first LeBrons to feature laser etching.  This is the lone visual element repeated across both shoes.

Nike Zoom LeBron 4 ‘Fruity Pebbles’
The sockliner print is inspired by LeBron’s favorite cereal.

Nike Air Max LeBron 7 NFW ‘Red Carpet’
The top of the tongue on the left shoe comes from one of the 7’s No Flywire colorway.

Nike LeBron 9 ‘Big Bang’
‘Pull for Lockdown’ first appeared on the All Star 9’s eyelets.

Nike Zoom LeBron 6 ‘Stewie Griffin’
The left medial toe appears to be cel shaded in reference to the unreleased ZL6 patterned after Family Guy’s hilariously expressive baby.

Nike Zoom LeBron 6 ‘Big Apple’
The left insole draws on the NYC edition of the ‘Tale of 3 Cities’ LeBron 6s.

Nike Zoom LeBron 4 ‘Fruity Pebbles’
The multicolor outsole debuted on this ZLIV.

Nike Air Zoom Generation
The chromed-out lion lacelock ala the LeBron 10 ‘Pressure’ is inspired by the first LeBron signature’s shiny heel plate.

Nike Zoom LeBron 5
The bottom of the left tongue comes from the ZL5.

Nike LeBron 8 ‘South Beach’
The turquoise toe on the right shoe references arguably the single most famous LeBron James sneaker ever released.  The toe also resembles the 11’s own ‘Gamma Blue’.

Nike LeBron 9 ‘Big Bang’
The Galaxy print makes it way on the vented upper of the right shoe.

Nike LeBron 8 V/2 Low ‘Miami Nights’
The back Hyperposite section shouts out arguably the single most coveted pair of LeBron 8s.

Nike LeBron 10 ‘Gold Medal’
The right shoe’s main Swoosh comes straight from the 2012 Olympic medal podium.  A similar style also appeared in the 2013 NBA Finals on the ‘Championship Pack’ 10 Elites.

Nike LeBron 8 ‘South Beach’
The tongue turquoise toe on the right shoe references arguably the single most famous LeBron James sneaker ever released.  The toe also resembles the 11’s own ‘Gamma Blue’.

Nike LeBron 10 ‘Re Entry’
In the direction of the arrows referenced above, there’s some of the ‘Re-Entry’ 10’s graphic touches.

Nike Zoom LeBron 2
As mentioned above, both shoes rock the tattoo-ish pattern found on the laser-etched 2s.

Nike Zoom LeBron 5 ‘Yankees’
The WTL 11’s right shoe inner lining is pinstriped like the NYY-inspired ZL5’s upper.

Nike LeBron ‘Dunkman’
LeBron’s superhuman alter ego has appeared on most of his signature shoes over the years and this neon icon on a white field represents the series’ core aesthetic.

Nike Air Max LeBron 7 ‘All Star’
There’s a hint of tonal blue wood grain on the right medial toe; is it reflective like the All Star VIIs?

Nike LeBron 9 ‘Cannon’
The speckled right shank plate takes styling cues from the Miami-inspired 9’s midsole.

Nike LeBron 10 ‘What the MVP’
Yo dawg, this year’s ‘What the LeBrons’ go a little meta by including last year’s lace lock.

Nike Zoom LeBron 3
The bottom of the right tongue comes from the ZL3.

Nike Zoom LeBron V
The ‘FEARLESS’ ‘PASSION’ script and Akron, OH map peeking through the translucent outsole on the right shoe are borrowed from the fifth LeBron signature.