When Klay Thompson’s teammate Steph Curry unveiled his new Under Armour collaboration back in April, the reviews were…not good.
Now, another Warriors player is catching flack for releasing an aesthetically unappealing pair of shoes. At a moment when the shooting guard’s performance is under scrutiny, the latest versions of his signature kicks are garnering no-holds-barred reviews like this one, from SB Nation : “These are the ugliest effing things the world has ever seen.”
Thompson, who will nonetheless be wearing his new sneakers in Game 1 of the NBA Finals Thursday night, left Nike for Anta, a Chinese company, in 2014, for a reported $3 million annual contract. In December 2016, Nice Kicks revealed talks of an extension, with an offer as high as $9 million per year on the table. Since then, Thompson has released three major sneakers with Anta– the KT1, The KT Light, and the KT2, which debuted in November 2016.
The KT2 “Chase,” which Anta America introduced late last week, retains the shape of the KT2 with a high tongue that slopes down to a lower ankle. It retails for $120 and is available in two colorways: white and gold for home games, and black and gold for when the Warriors are away. The gold splashes are symbolic, according to Anta’s product descriptions: “While it may be said that there’s glory in the journey, a true warrior knows the chase is meaningless without the prize. Driven toward the golden ring, the chase is the warrior’s path to immortality.”
Or, in the words of James Dator for SB Nation : “They’re like a well-loved pair of trail-running shoes you decided to paint the house in.”
Both colorways have rainbow details on the tongue to represent…the path to the pot of gold at the end?
So far, armchair critics on social media have been kinder to Thompson than they were to Curry, with a handful of Anta’s Instagram followers giving the KT2 “Chase” a thumbs-up. But Matt Birch, Editor-in-Chief of The Sports Daily , is unequivocal in his review: “Klay Thompson reveals horrid-looking playoff sneakers…and they’re awful.”
To each their own. Thompson’s releases have tended to be colorful, like the turquoise KT2 “Bahama” and desert camouflage “Tribute.” And with Anta’s Memorial Day sale still going, each “Chase” colorway can be had for the price of $84, which is more than $400 less than a pair of Lonzo Ball shoes.
For Warriors fans with more subdued taste, forward Kevin Durant has a new, all-white version of his Nike KDX “Still KD” sneaker ready to release, but buyers will have to multitask during Game 1 on Thursday. The shoes will only be available to buy while Durant is on the court.