When it comes to the world of NBA sneakerheads, few come close to PJ Tucker. The 35-year-old power forward from North Carolina has made a name for himself as the leagues biggest sneakerheads. During his 14-year professional career, Tucker has played for a number of different clubs. He has also worn a lot of crazy sneakers on the court, giving him the well-deserved title of “Kicks on Court” champion for the past few years.
Of course, playing basketball in some of the rarest sneakers on the planet may seem crazy to you and me, yet PJ Tucker lives for it. For the past two seasons, we have seen PJ Tucker’s sneakers completely steal focus from the game. And for very good reason. Whether he’s worn vintage Air Jordans or even crazy Kobe Bryant samples, few players in the NBA come close to PJ Tucker. It really is a one-horse race right now.
As you can probably imagine, PJ Tucker’s sneaker collection is pretty extensive. The man recently explained to Nate Robinson that he bought a separate house just to store his sneakers in. Yep, you read that right. During the 2017-2018 season alone, PJ Tucker wore 106 different pairs of sneakers. We’re pretty sure if you looked up “sneakerhead” in the dictionary, PJ Tucker would appear. So, ladies and gentleman, without further delay, let’s take a look at PJ Tucker’s best on-court sneaker moments.
Disclaimer: these are in no particular order!
Off-White™ x Air Jordan 1 “Chicago” vs Los Angeles Lakers (2017)
Yep, we’re kicking this list off with a banger. It is hard to imagine what the world of sneakers would look like it if Virgil Abloh and Nike did not release “The Ten.” After growing hype throughout 2017, the sneakers finally launched in November of that very year. Taking ten classic Nike silhouettes, Abloh completely re-imagined some of the most iconic sneakers in history. One of those just happened to be the Air Jordan 1 in the instantly recognisable “Chicago” colourway. As expected, it didn’t take long for PJ Tucker to break these out on the court.
Taking on the Los Angeles Lakers in December 2017, PJ Tucker pulled out the Off-White™ x Air Jordan 1 “Chicago.” It was a moment that instantly caught the attention of the sneaker community. Arguably the most hyped shoe in the world at the time, PJ Tucker’s shoes were one of the most memorable points of the season. Tucker even customised his pair so that it read “AIR TUCK” to replicate Virgil’s own customised pairs.
Nike Air Yeezy II “Red October” vs Cleveland Cavaliers (2017)
Kanye West is without a doubt one of the most influential people in the world today. His sneakers have become a staple part of the release calendar, but back when he was with Nike, it wasn’t the case. As most sneakerheads will know, the Nike Air Yeezy 2 “Red October” was one of the biggest shock drops in history. After Kanye publicly denounced the Swoosh and stopped working with the brand, Nike released the “Red Octobers.” Three years later and PJ Tucker decided to hoop in them.
Spotted against the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James, PJ Tucker wearing Red Octobers was a huge moment in the sneaker community. Whilst PJ Tucker was not the first player to wear them, he is arguably the biggest sneakerhead in the NBA. Even three years after Nike launched the Red Octobers, the pair is one of the most expensive Yeezys on the resell market. Shoutout PJ Tucker for this iconic moment.
Air Jordan V “Oregon Ducks PE” vs Utah Jazz (2018)
It is no secret that the University of Oregon athletes are treated very well by Nike. As the former school of Nike founder Phil Knight, the UoO has often received exclusive sneakers over the past few years. In particular, the Oregon basketball and football teams have had their fair share of limited edition Nike and Jordan shoes. One of those just happens to be the Air Jordan 5 “Oregon Ducks PE” from 2013, complete with a Duckman on the back. That’s right, PJ Tucker is wearing those exact sneakers in the image above.
Facing the Utah Jazz in 2018, PJ Tucker’s sneakers caught the attention of many on and off the court. The limited-edition Air Jordan 5 “Duckman” was made exclusively for the Oregon Ducks and has since gone for crazy money on the secondary market. Exact quantities of this sneaker are not known, but you can expect it to be under 50 pairs. Fortunately enough for PJ Tucker, one pair popped up in a size 13 and he copped.
OVO x Air Jordan XI “Pink Snakeskin” Sample vs Boston Celtics (2020)
Drake has had access to some of the most exclusive Jordans on the planet. As a member of the Jordan Brand family, Drizzy and his OVO friends have been treated very well by Jordan Brand. There is also no denying just how many rare Air Jordan’s Drake has had too, particularly when it comes to samples. In particular, two Air Jordan 11 samples are the most sought after, both of which feature faux snakeskin throughout.
Earlier this year, PJ Tucker laced up the OVO x Air Jordan 11 “Pink Snakeskin” Sample against the Boston Celtics. The sneakers quickly did the rounds on social media, with many in the community questioning how PJ Tucker got them in the first place. Made in extremely limited quantities and only give to a select few people, the OVO Air Jordan 11 is one of the craziest samples out there. Without a doubt, this is one of PJ Tucker’s best sneakers.
Wahlburgers x Air Jordan IV “Wahlburgers” vs Golden State Warriors (2019)
Mark Wahlberg is without a doubt one of the most understated sneakerheads on the planet. The 49-year-old actor and restaurateur has had his fair share of exclusive kicks, from “Transformer” Air Jordan 5s to limited edition Air Jordan 3s. However, of all his creations are more revered than the Air Jordan 4 “Wahlburgers.” Made exclusively for Wahlberg’s restaurant chain with the same name, the sneakers have become one of the most coveted AJ4s on the planet.
Last year, on Christmas Day, PJ Tucker broke out the Wahlburger Jordan 4s, much to the delight of sneakerheads. The luxurious bright green sneaker features premium suede as well as the branding of the former rapper’s restaurant chain. This is probably one of the most expensive sneakers that PJ Tucker has pulled out on the court, coming in at a cool €25,000 on the secondary market. Say what you want about this decision, but this is one of the best PJ Tucker sneaker moments of all time.
Nike Air Huarache ’08 “Glow in the Dark Tour” Sample vs Boston Celtics (2020)
There are sneaker samples and then there are sneaker samples. This pair right here is most definitely the latter. Back in 2008, right before Kanye West started working on his own signature Nike sneaker, he had a number of exclusives made for him. From the Air Jordan 6 to the Nike Air Max 180, Kanye had his fair share of kicks. One of those samples was the Nike Air Huarache ’08 which was made for the Glow In the Dark Tour.
In February this year, PJ Tucker pulled out these exclusive samples against the Boston Celtics. Sporting a crazy colour scheme, the Yeezy exclusive features a black suede base and multicoloured accents throughout. Subtle details include reflective straps around the ankles, as well as branding on the insole. PJ Tucker’s sneaker collection is pretty expansive, but these are without a doubt one of the best pairs that he’s pulled out.
Travis Scott x Air Jordan 4 “Purple Suede” F&F vs Chicago Bulls (2019)
Travis Scott is fast becoming one of the most important people in the sneaker community. For the past three years, the 28-year-old Houston rapper has been cooking up some of the most sought after sneakers on the planet. From Nike SB Dunks to Air Jordan 1s, La Flame knows how to make a sneaker. However, it is his samples that get sneakerheads the most excited, particularly when it comes to the Air Jordan 4.
Spotted on PJ Tucker’s feet as the Houston Rockets took on the Chicago Bulls was the Travis Scott x Air Jordan 4 “Purple Suede.” Made exclusively for friends and family, this pair uses a premium purple suede throughout. Other notable details include a purple sole as well as “Nike Air” and “Cactus Jack” branding on the heel tabs. With less than 1,00 rumoured to be in existence, this is a serious pair of heat. PJ Tucker knows how to flex rare Jordans.
Solefly x Air Jordan 1 “Art Basel” vs Chicago Bulls (2018)
Solefly created arguably two of the most sought after Air Jordan 1s in history back in 2018. Made exclusively for the Art Basel event in 2018, the two Jordan 1 were extremely limied, causing chaos at the launch event. With very few pairs made public, it is easy to understand why. The sneakers feature subtle detailing throughout, as well as a Miami inspired take on the classic AJ1 silhouette. Of course, it didn’t take long for PJ Tucker to pull these out on court.
Taking on the Chicago Bulls in December 2018, PJ Tucker pulled out these eye-catching Jordan 1s. It was a memorable moment, with Tucker picking up 11 points whilst flexing on the entire NBA. As you can probably imagine, this made quite a bit of noise in the sneaker community. At the time, the Solefly AJ1 was selling for a cool €5,000. You can start to see that PJ Tucker’s shoes tend to cost more than a car now, right?
Air Jordan III “Kobe Bryant ” PE vs Los Angeles Lakers (2020)
Earlier this year, the world lost one of its true sporting greats. Kobe Bryant tragically lost his life along with his daughter, Gianna, and seven others on board. There were no words to summarise the hurt that people around the globe felt, but especially those who knew him. With the Los Angeles Lakers experiencing a tremendous loss in its city, many showed small gestures of appreciation for what the Black Mamba had done. PJ Tucker was one of them.
Lacing up the exclusive Air Jordan 3 “Kobe Bryant” PE, PJ Tucker paid respect to one of the greatest Lakers of all time. Made for Kobe Bryant during his sneaker free season in 2002-2003, the Air Jordan 3 PE was one of the most memorable sneaker moments for Kobe. Taking the classic AJ3, the sneaker features the Lakers colours. After Kobe retired, Jordan Brand made an exclusive pack alongside the Air Jordan 8 to celebrate Kobe’s career. Shoutout PJ Tucker for this moment of respect.
Nike Air Yeezy II “Solar Red” vs New York Knicks (2017)
It seems strange now that Kanye West and Nike ever had a functional relationship, but once upon they did. For Kanye’s second Air Yeezy model, he was inspired by the ancient Egyptians, referencing the pharaohs as well as the god Horus. A mesh base featured contrasting faux reptile leather on the side, as well as hieroglyphics that spelt out “Yeezy” under the strap. Finished with a glow in the dark sole, this is one of the most desirable Nike Yeezys on the planet.
Back in 2017, PJ Tucker pulled the “Solar Red” Nike Air Yeezy 2 against the New York Knicks. Putting the sneaker through its paces, PJ Tucker wearing Yeezys was one of the biggest parts of the game. You can probably understand why. With the sneakers being worth well over €5,000 at the time, this was a very big deal. It also helped to put PJ Tucker on the map in the sneaker community, opening him up to a new army of followers in the process. Easily one of PJ Tucker’s best on-court sneakers.
So there you have it, our top ten favourite PJ Tucker sneaker moments. You can probably understand why PJ Tucker’s shoes make so much noise. His sneakers are always a focal point, especially in the NBA. Over the past few years, Tucker has really upped his game, pulling out some truly mythical pairs. With the NBA making a comeback this week, we can’t wait to see what he’s got in store. All we do know is it’s going to be some serious heat.