The Jalen & Jacoby Show is full of memorable stories from former NBA player and one of the Fab Five’s founding members Jalen Rose. The duo recently talked about Cam Newton’s touchdown celebrations and how NFL athletes often take their on-field personas into profitable ventures outside the realm of football when Jacoby brought up Victor Cruz’s recent Nike Air Trainer Cruz. Jacoby was trying to make the connection that Cruz’s dance moves and personality were what made him such a viable candidate for his own sneaker. Jacoby then asked Jalen if he ever had a signature shoe (The conversation starts around 37:00):
Jacoby: Did you ever have a signature shoe?
Jalen: “I did. Ratball. adidas.”
Jacoby: “You did? Can I get a pair? Do you have any in the closet?”
Jalen: “I’ll check that out.”
Jacoby: “I’ll go on eBay right now and if they’re under $600 I will buy a pair.”
Jalen: “David Jacoby, you need to get drug tested. Did I have a signature shoe? Have you ever heard of Huaraches?”
Jacoby: “Those weren’t your signature shoe.”
Jalen: “Those were Fab 5 Nikes. We went to Chicago to the Nike store while we were in school. There was a display and that’s exactly what it said.”
Jalen: “Just because I wasn’t getting paid for it doesn’t mean I wasn’t part of having a signature shoe.”
Jacoby: “I don’t think your signature shoe exists dude. I just googled it. Oh, they got a pair of Huaraches here.” (Laughs) “It’s a good shoe. It’s a good shoe.”
For those of you that don’t remember, the adidas Ratball had a short run in the mid-90s and was marketed as a blacktop model for the summer. It was meant to compete with other streetball inspired silhouettes like Nike’s Air Raid and even featured a print ad of a young Jalen known as “Finishing the Break“.
So while Jacoby can’t buy a pair of adidas Ratballs on eBay (and we doubt they’d be anywhere close to $600) there is this nice vintage ad to kind of support Jalen’s point here. As for the Huarache claim, Jalen has a point too. The Fab Five were influential to basketball style, championing longer shorts, black socks, and their success helped promote the Nike Air Flight Huarache and a number of other awesome Swoosh models during their dominant run together. That Michigan team would later protest the fact that they weren’t getting paid by Nike by wearing plain navy t-shirts during warmups. It’s funny that Jalen didn’t mention the likes of the Nike Air Flight Maestro or Nike Air Flight Max as a “signature shoe” either.