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Joel Embiid to release signature shoe with Under Armour

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NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Philadelphia 76ers Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

At Under Armour’s Human Performance Summit on Tuesday, Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers announced that he and Under Armour will be debuting Embiid’s first signature shoe, the Embiid 1, in late 2020, according to Nick DePaula of ESPN.

More from DePaula’s story:

For now, the mid-cut, mesh-based signature shoe has only been previewed in a phone-restricted setting, with Embiid potentially debuting his namesake sneaker on the court as early as this spring’s playoffs.

”Early on in the design process, Joel shared that he thought his life was like a movie, and like movies, all basketball careers have origin stories,” Under Armour designer Reggie Wilson said. “Since Joel’s story began in Cameroon, that was the creative focus of our first colorway, ‘Origin.’”

A sizable support panel with flowing lines evokes a volcano’s eruption along the side of the shoe, while an outline of Africa is on the heel, the first point of contact for anyone wearing it.

With this news, here’s a list of centers currently in the NBA with a signature shoe:

  • Joel Embiid

That’s it. That’s the list.

As much as you need to prove on the court to land a shoe deal, the fact that Embiid will be the only center with a signature shoe speaks volume about his personality and appeal. You have to be cool to sell shoes — no one is waiting in line at the release of the Shkreli 1’s. It’s also massive undertaking from the Brand’s standpoint, an investment. Embiid has established himself as one of the faces of the NBA.

Embiid’s shoe will obviously have to be tailored to his needs if he’s going to wear it frequently. As a big, that could mean we see a clunkier, supportive shoe. (It might be ugly folks.) I personally prefer something that allows me to be quick and light on my feet, so I’m a little worried these kicks may not be for me. But we shall see. Sixers fans haven’t been able to wear a signature shoe of one of their own in a very long time, that alone might be enough to convince me to grab a pair.