By Michael Lee
As a Nike athlete, Nick Young wasn’t allowed to wear any other sneaker when he suited up for the Wizards. And on game nights and practices, Young always preferred to wear Kobe Bryant’s signature shoes, fancying the light feel and the design, which he usually personalized with strange color schemes and ordered from his personal computer.
If that’s how you feel, Nick... Since his Nike deal allows him to wear other shoes off the floor, Young often has on a pair of Jordans or Louis Vuitton sneakers below his skinny jeans. But now it appears that Young plans to ditch at least one of those shoe brands after Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan emerged as one of the hardest of hard-line NBA owners that are looking to bury the players’ union in the next collection bargaining agreement.
The league has given the union until Wednesday to accept a proposal that would give them a "band" between 49 percent and 51 percent of basketball-related income - or get a much worse offer, including a hard salary cap, later. Jordan is reportedly behind a push to offer the players no more than 47 percent, which prompted Young to take a stand. Young wrote on his Twitter account, @NickSwagyPYoung, "im not wearin jordans no more cant believe what i just seen and heard from MJ #ElvisDoneLeftTheBuilding."
Jordan’s stance was bound to rile up a current generation of players that grew up idolizing him and wearing his fashionable line of shoes. Jordan isn’t just any owner looking for a favorable deal, he’s a former player who fought on behalf of the union in previous disputes and runs the Jordan Brand shoe subsidiary of Nike that employs several of the league’s superstars, including Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul.
So, Young can scratch that Jumpman endorsement off the list. Though a few players made comments about Jordan on Twitter — Indiana Pacers guard Paul George called Jordan a "straight hypocrite" — when talks stalled on Saturday, Young is the only player to announce that he would boycott his shoe brand.
Young has long been a fan of Jordans, once telling Dan Steinberg that the Jordan IXs, issued in 1993, were his all-time favorite growing up. But when asked on Monday if he preferred Kobes now anyway, Young replied, "Yep!!!"