Temetrius Jamel “Ja” Morant is a professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Born in Dalzell, South Carolina on August 10th, 1999, he entered the league in 2019, picked second overall by the Memphis Grizzlies.
Before becoming one of the most exciting players to watch in the NBA, Ja Morant played two seasons of college basketball with the Murray State Racers, achieving a first-team All-American distinction by his sophomore year. Right-handed, the South Carolina-native plays point guard for the Memphis Grizzlies and wears the number “12” on his jersey. Morant was named the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2020, and called up as a starter to his first NBA All Star Game in 2022. By the end of the 2021-22 season, he won the league's Most Improved Player Award and was selected to his first All-NBA Team. The news came shortly after it was announced that the Swoosh and Kyrie Irving had severed ties. Morant's popularity on and off-the-court, in particular with a younger generation, made him the perfect candidate to fill in the gap Irving would leave within the roster of signature athletes at Nike.
Ja Morant signed a multi-year endorsement deal with Nike on May 27th, 2019, sharing the news with the world via Twitter ahead of that year's NBA Draft Night. Over the course of his professional career, Morant has worn over a dozen different basketball shoes–including the Air Jordan 1, Nike Adapt BB 1.0, Nike Kyrie 4, and Nike KD 4. Fans of #12 (and there are many of them) could look forward to not only highlight reels from the high-flying, defiant guard, but also a pair of sneakers as equally exciting. Morant has heavily favored Nike Kobe offerings since 2020, hooping in everything from the Kobe 5 Protro to the Kobe 11.
On December 5th, fans wondering when Ja Morant would get his own signature sneaker were treated to information from Shams Charania, as industry sources told The Athletic and Stadium that the Memphis Grizzlies All-Star was in line to receive his own model from Nike “in the near future.” The news came shortly after it was announced that Nike and Kyrie Irving had severed their relationship. Morant's popularity on and off-the-court, in particular amongst a younger generation, made him the perfect candidate to fill in the gap Irving left within the Swoosh's signature athlete roster.
Nothing about the athletic guard's signature Nike sneaker has been disclosed by either party involved, but it's possible the first in what's sure to be a prosperous Nike Ja line will draw inspiration from models like the KD 4 and the Kobe 6. It's also possible the Swoosh utilizes Ja Morant's debut signature shoe to unveil new technology, especially because of his explosive play-style. In any case, it's likely the first Nike x Ja Morant sneaker will launch ahead of the 2023-24 NBA season to great fanfare.
The Nike Ja 1, Morant's first signature shoe with the Swoosh, officially debuted on December 25th, 2022 during a Christmas Day game against the Golden State Warriors. The young guard–which Nike considers its first Gen Z signature athlete–scored 36 points in his Zoom Air-cushioned sneaker, which bears resemblance to the aforementioned Nike Kobe series of sneakers, as well as models like the Nike Roshe Run. Unveiled in a “Day One” style, the shoe is expected to hit retailers in April 2023 for a price of $110 USD.