September 22, 2020

Reebok's Secret Weapon: A History of Allen Iverson's Sneakers

– [Narrator] Allen Iversonis one of the most hated, most loved, and most recognizable players in the history of the game.

Many people say his career has been overshadowed by his criminal record.

The haters will say hebrought a bad image to the NBA and was a ball hog who never led the Sixers to a championship.

Regardless of what you think about him, Allen Iverson was one of the most profitable NBA stars of his era and Reebok was luckyenough to sign him early.

In 1986, Reebok was the foremost athletic footwear brand in North America.

Much of Reebok's success in1986 was thanks to the film, “Aliens”, in which themain character kicks ass in a pair of some abstractlooking Reebok concept sneakers.

These sneakers are now knowntoday as the Alien Stomper.

(mechanical whirring) – [Sigourney] Get away from her you bitch! (mechanical whooshing) – [Narrator] By 1988, Reeboksales had grown to 1.

8 billion, controlling 26.

7% of theathletic footwear market, topping their main rival brand, Nike, who brought in 1.

2 billionin revenue that year.

The coming years wouldbe a constant tug-of-war between Nike and Reebok, Reebok releasing their pump technology and Nike outbidding the legendaryNBA star, Michael Jordan.

Fast forward to 1996.

Allen Iverson is a collegebasketball superstar, playing with one of the mostprestigious universities in the country, Georgetown.

During his sophomore season, AI decided to quit college ball and make himself availablefor the upcoming NBA draft.

– With the first pickin the 1996 NBA draft, the Philadelphia 76ers select Allen Iverson from Georgetown University.

(audience cheering) – [Narrator] Two young Reebok employees, Todd Krinsky and Que Gaskinsare watching Iverson's games and keeping a close eye on his hype.

They knew he was a oncein a lifetime player and they decided to go all in on him.

At this point, Allen Iverson's college hype was at its apex.

Both Nike and Reebok had eyes on him.

Here's what Iverson's first sports agent, David Falk, had to say about the prospect surrounding Iverson at the time.

“Typically, I call all of the companies “and give the an opportunityto make a presentation.

“It came down to Nike and Reebok “and obviously, Allen's mentor, “Coach Thompson, is a strong Nike guy.

” And Georgetown is oneof the top Nike schools.

They wanted to have Allen, but they weren't prepared to step up to the level that it was going to take to sign him.

Reebok was more than preparedto step it up to the level that Iverson and David Falk were after.

In fact, Reebok had begun designing AI's signature shoe modeleven before signing him.

Que Gaskins and ToddKrinsky were so confident in Iverson's star potential and they wanted to beprepared to offer him the shoe on the spot.

Since there were so manyquestions surrounding Allen Iverson as an up andcoming basketball star, they decided to namethe model the Question.

Designed by footweardesigner Scott Hewitt, the Question had a unique design, equipped with Reebok's Hexalite technology and a ghillie lace up design that resembled the Air Jordan Six.

The Question's most iconic design feature was its colored toe cap.

Iverson wore the shoe throughouthis incredible rookie year and even crossed MichaelJordan wearing them.

The Reebok team wereconfident that Iverson's shoe would make a big impact once he started to make a name for himself in the league, but what they didn't see coming was how huge the hype would actually be.

Turns out, the streets couldn'tget enough of Allen Iverson.

Here's what Todd Krinsky had to say.

“One of the things that was craziest “about it was when we put thefirst 5, 000 pairs in Philly, “kids were driving up fromVirginia and DC to get the shoe.

“We could only put so many pairs out “because we were going so fast.

” This was before the internet, so kids really had tofind out where to go.

The Reebok Question was such a classic that Reebok didn't evenrelease the Question 2 until way later in 2004.

In music and film and even in footwear, sophomore efforts after a successful debut are often met with disappointing results.

After all of the massivesuccess of the question, Reebok was determined to make Iverson's next shoe just as impactful.

When Reebok began designing the Question, Allen Iverson didn't really have much of a say on the core design of the shoe.

He didn't have a saybecause Reebok famously started designing the shoebefore even signing him.

This time, it would be different though.

Iverson would be giving feedback to Reebok's design team from day one.

Aesthetically, the Questions and the Answers couldn't befurther apart from one another.

The simplicity of theQuestions were left in the past and replaced with a more-is-better look.

Instead of using the old Hexalite honeycomb cushioning technology, Reebok and Iverson utilized the newly-developed DMX cushioning for the shoe.

This new technology would fit perfectly with Iverson's dynamic and quick style of playing basketball.

The DMX technology placed 10 pods in the sole that transferredair with every step.

The Reebok answers werenot only the first shoe to use the DMX technology, they also debuted Allen Iverson's signature logo, the I3.

This would eventuallybe seen on everything from T-shirts, headbands, Five Star notebooks, and even backpacks.

In the years that followed, Reebok would go on to releasea multitude of Answers.

Over the span of 22 years, Allen Iverson and Reebok have released15 signature models, 14 of them being from the Answer series.

One of the most recognizable and famous models is the Answer 4.

– [Interviewer] First, I'd like to talk about the Reebok Answer 4.

What's so special about the Answer 4? – It was my MVP shoe.

It's my shoe that I wore in the Finals.

It was a special year.

We went to the NBA Finalsand I wore that shoe.

That's what's special about it.

– [Narrator] Despite never getting a ring, Allen Iverson remains one of the greatest basketball players toever grace the earth.

Are you a fan if AI? Have you ever owned a pair of his shoes? If you haven't, we'veconveniently placed some links in the description box if you'reinterested in buying some.

Thank you guys so much for taking the time to watch this video.

It would mean the world to us if you subscribed to our channel.

We make tons of videos on sneaker history, we do Ross finds, Burlingtonfinds, all kinds of good stuff.

Thank you guys so much.

We'll see you guys next time.

(mellow music).

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