Kawhi Leonard’s first New Balance signature shoe inspired by game-winner vs. Sixers
The debut New Balance signature shoe for Los Angeles Clippers forward and Fun Guy Kawhi Leonard will be released on Thursday.
Fittingly, it’s inspired by the biggest shot in Leonard’s career:
Kawhi Leonard's first @newbalancehoops signature sneaker releases this Thursday.
The KAWHI '4 Bounces' is inspired by his game-winning shot against the 76ers last year pic.twitter.com/92FGfjjmBa
— Jarrel (@_JarrelHarris) August 17, 2020
The KAWHI “4 Bounces” is an obvious nod to Leonard’s miraculous buzzer-beater while playing for the Toronto Raptors. In Game 7 of the 2019 Eastern Conference Semifinals, Leonard memorably navigated to the corner and launched a fallaway jumper over Joel Embiid that clanked around every part of the rim before dramatically dropping through the twine to eliminate the Philadelphia 76ers:
Toronto, led by Kawhi Leonard, went on to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals before beating the Golden State Warriors in six games in the NBA Finals to claim the franchise’s (and Canada’s) first NBA championship.
When Leonard returned to Scotiabank Arena as a member of the Clippers last December to receive his championship ring in a pregame ceremony, the Raptors paid homage to Leonard’s heroics with a tribute video:
The Raptors' tribute video to Kawhi included "The Shot Heard Around the World" 🏆 pic.twitter.com/LiVMrC16Dr
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 12, 2019
That same December week, New Balance erected a billboard in downtown Toronto that read “Thank you Toronto” on behalf of Leonard. He will always have love for Raptors fans:
“(The fans) were amazing last year,” Leonard told TSN. “They rolled with us through the ups and downs. We were down every series pretty much and they stuck through it with us. They brought great energy to every game and it helped us. So that’s my thank you to them.”
In November 2018, Leonard signed a multi-year contract with New Balance, who have since rolled out a clever campaign built around Leonard’s matter-of-fact manner of speaking and unique personality.
Kawhi Leonard’s new signature shoe is dropping right as his Clippers embark on a potential championship run down in the NBA bubble. LA is one of the favorites to go all the way.