NBA Finals Sneaker Rankings: Stephen Curry, DeMarcus Cousins, Kawhi Leonard headline the best kicks from Game 1
Game 1 of the NBA Finals set the sneaker pace for the rest of the series
All the marbles (sneakers?) are on the table in the NBA Finals, and the only way to make this illustrious list is to bring the best on-court footwear during every game of the series. The Finals are a hotbed for players debuting new colorways for their signature kicks, breaking out new silhouettes that they've never worn before so you can count on plenty of heat every game.
Game 1 gave us an interesting perspective when it comes to kicks. With Warriors star Kevin Durant out, the biggest names on the court don't currently have any ties to Nike. Stephen Curry reps Under Armour, Kawhi Leonard is with New Balance and DeMarcus Cousins is a Puma athlete. All those brands are taking advantage of the head start when it comes to the exposure that this stage brings and did not disappoint with what they provided their guys in Game 1.
It's time to find out which players brought the best heat.
Raptors sharpshooter Danny Green gets to face off against fellow Puma athlete DeMarcus Cousins in these Finals. Green, who also made our previous sneaker rankings edition, is back on the list after coming through in Game 1 with the Puma Clyde "Title Run" kicks. The all-gold colorway of the Puma Clyde is a perfect shoe for Green as he and the Raptors try and secure the Larry O'Brien Trophy.
4. Quinn Cook, Golden State Warriors
Unfortunately for the Warriors -- and Nike -- Kevin Durant was a no-go for Game 1 and will also miss Game 2, but his teammates came through for him by rocking his Nike signature shoe. Andre Iguodala and Alfonzo McKinnie each rocked the KD 12 "Warriors Home" but Quinn Cook is the one that gets the nod here for breaking out the colorful KD 12 "'90s Kid" colorway. So long as Durant himself can't hit the court with some new gems from his line, we're going to have to depend on his teammates to keep coming through for us Nike fanatics.
3. DeMarcus Cousins, Golden State Warriors
DeMarcus Cousins made his NBA Finals debut and he did it in style. The Warriors big man, who's one of two Puma athletes hooping for the title, debuted the Puma Legacy and it definitely got the attention of the sneaker community. Cousins has been a versatile face of Puma throughout the season and frequented the Puma Clyde model before changing things up on Thursday. We'll have to stay tuned to see if he sticks with the Puma Legacy kicks or keeps us guessing with something else. Either way, we know it's going to be solid.
2. Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors
What Kawhi Leonard is doing for New Balance as he continues his historic playoff run that could ultimately end in a title can't be understated. Leonard is the brand's focal point as it tries to get back into the NBA world and there's no way they could've imagined this level of success right away when the two sides came together. Leonard, who prefers to remain lowkey rather than live as your prototypical superstar, is the perfect match for a brand that has been an afterthought in this market for a long time. Marketing impact aside, Leonard brought some heat with his signature New Balance OMN1S kicks in Game 1. The player exclusive sneakers featured a black midsole with trophy gold accents on the ankle and around the tongue. Leonard and New Balance are a perfect match and they're showing us why in these playoffs.
1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Warriors star Stephen Curry has a lot on the line during these Finals. Winning a Finals MVP adds an elusive award to an otherwise jam-packed trophy case. So, yeah, this is a big series for Chef Curry, but I'm sure he'd prefer to add to his legacy AND do it in style. Curry got off to a good start by debuting a new colorway from his signature Under Armour Curry 6 line during Game 1. Some might argue that the shoes are a bit of an eyesore, but these are the NBA Finals and the goal is to shine on the biggest stage. Lacing up those kicks, Curry did just that. He takes the crown for Game 1.
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