Photos of a Prince George’s County-themed Kevin Durant sneaker surfaced last October, but the shoe, which featured a rough road map of the Seat Pleasant neighborhood where the Oklahoma City star grew up, ended up being a player exclusive release and not available at retail stores.
There were D.C. and Maryland blue crab versions of previous Durant signature shoe, but no P.G. County tributes available for purchase, until now. The KD8 P.G. County, which features a colorful crest and bright crimson fade to “honor [Durant’s] Seat Pleasant roots and rise to superstardom,” went on sale Wednesday.
Not everyone loves the shoe, for reasons that have nothing to do with the design. NBC 4 reports that Nike’s abbreviation of “Prince George’s County” in the name of the shoe has irked some Prince George’s County officials.
“We would certainly prefer that it was ‘Prince George’s County,’” Barry Hudson, the spokesman for county executive Rushern Baker, told the station. “Actually sent a letter to Nike kind of giving them some idea of the nature of the term ‘Prince George’s County’ versus ‘P.G. County’ just to let them know that it is, to many in the county, a pejorative.”
The Prince George’s vs. P.G. debate goes back decades. The late Wayne Curry, who served two consecutive terms after being elected the county’s first African American county executive in 1994, was one of the leaders of the anti-P.G. campaign and would correct people who abbreviated the name.
“It’s not just about respect,” Curry told The Post in 2006. “It was about marketing. It’s a question of how your community is viewed. Prince George’s had always been regarded by the rest of the region as the ‘ugliest stepsister.’ When we were referred to as P.G., it was a contraction. We were looking at what the summary depicted in the minds of those who said it.”
Durant began his emotional MVP acceptance speech last year by mentioning his roots.
“I come from a small county outside of Washington D.C. called P.G. County,” he said.