The only thing better than Metta World Peace adopting the name “The Panda’s Friend” while he’s playing basketball for the Sichuan Blue Whales of the Chinese Basketball Association is that he’s got new kicks to go with it. And they are spot-on.
Minus the spots.
World Peace confirmed via Twitter he’ll be rocking these low-profile basketball shoes that come in all-white or all-black and have a teddy bear head and arms protruding from the front and sides. They’re not detachable.
Or maybe they are? In a statement to Courtside Access, World Peace made it sound as though he’d be conducting sneaker decapitations for each game: “Before every game, I will be wearing the white or black shoes,” the man once known as Ronald William Artest Jr.
. “The top part of the shoe has a panda on it. I will be throwing it to a friend in the crowd. The person who catches it will be the Panda’s Friend of the day.” World Peace said the shoes will be available for purchase through
Surprisingly, panda-bear sneakers have been done before; Jeremy Scott designed a pair for Adidas and they actually looked like pandas. The whole shoe was black-and-white plush.
Detachable or not, teddy or panda, World Peace’s shoes seem like the ultimate bait for the hardest of hardcore sneakerheads: a little bizarre, somewhat rare, given that they’re only relevant as long as World Peace is playing in the CBA (he signed a one-year contract), and highly collectible. Really, what person is going to be walking around town in a pair of Panda Bear sneaks like they’re vintage Js, especially when they look like a zhuhzed-up version of your grandparents’ diabetic shoes with a teddy bear glued to the front and sides?
You know what? Never mind. Someone will, and we salute them for it.
Carry on, Metta. Carry on.