Which NBA player had the best kicks of the 2017-18 regular season?

From ESPN - April 15, 2018

Throughout the 2017-18 season, sneakers became more than just another piece of equipment. Whether it was the league's biggest names promoting social messages, up-and-coming stars showing off their creativity or role players breaking out surprising vintage pairs, this season saw more incredible footwear than ever before.

Truth be told, if this were simply a ranking of the most sought-after pairs, Houston Rockets wing PJ Tucker and LA Clippers big man Montrezl Harrell could have easily filled every spot. But for the sake of variance, each player is eligible for one top sneaker on our season-ending list. That makes room for coveted collabs from signature athletes like Damian Lillard and Paul George, to exceptional player exclusives from DeMar DeRozan, Kristaps Porzingis and Nick Young, who lived up to his "Swaggy P" nickname.

After becoming the buzz of summer league by changing sneakers every game, Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball stuck to just a handful of mostly solid color pairs of his debut Big Baller Brand ZO2 signature shoe, leaving room to build on his rookie campaign and the massive early attention that the brand was able to generate.

Venturing east to Washington, the nation's capital became a platform for message-laden sneakers. Stephen Curry championed his past work with former President Barack Obama's "My Brother's Keeper Alliance" when the Warriors visited the Wizards -- but not the White House. His Curry 4s featured the MBK Alliance logo along the collar with gold accents, and he later auctioned off the game-worn pair to raise money for the foundation.

"We are continuing to raise awareness on supporting young men and boys of color in their pursuit of achievement and the highest success in life," Curry said.

LeBron James had his own message when the Cavaliers headed to D.C., wearing a mismatched white and black pair of the LeBron 15 model, with the word "EQUALITY" stitched into the back of each shoe, along with tonal embroidery of the same word in fifteen languages, representing the diversity of the country.

"Us as Americans, no matter the skin color, no matter the race, no matter who you are, I think we all have to understand that having equal rights and being able to stand for something and speak for something and keeping the conversation going [is important]," James said.

Both Langston Galloway and Stanley Johnson sported pink-hued Nikes in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month at the start of the season. Johnson's pair of the Nike Kyrie 3 was an unreleased edition originally made for the EYBL summer-basketball AAU circuit. The message held extra meaning for the third-year forward, as Johnson lost his mother, Karen Taylor, to breast cancer just before his rookie season in August 2015.

Galloway looked for a special edition for the occasion, breaking out a rare white-and-pink colorway ofJames' debut Nike shoe, the Air Zoom Generation, originally made in 2004. The pink colorway is simply dubbed the "Gloria" edition. Fewer than 100 pairs were made more than a decade ago for friends at the request of LeBron's mom, Gloria James, making it one of the rarest sneakers of the season.


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