The world is in mourning today following news of the death of iconic designer Virgil Abloh, who passed away after a long battle with cancer.
The 41-year-old was a pivotal figure in streetwear, becoming Louis Vuitton’s first black creative director and changing sneaker culture with his signature “Off-White” sneakers.
Abloh’s presence in the sports world was huge, especially in the NBA with multiple players sporting their signature sneakers at games.
In 2020, the NBA partnered with Louis Vuitton, with Abloh designing a variety of capsules that cross the luxury brand with the league’s identity, including a bespoke LV box for the Larry O’Brien trophy.
Virgil Abloh of Luis Vuitton transformed Madison Square Garden to present the LVxNBA menswear capsule collection.
The partnership also includes the creation of the bespoke Louis Vuitton travel vase for the Larry O’Brien trophy. pic.twitter.com/iY2wpF4qv7
– Office sports (@FOS) November 20, 2020
Russell Westbrook led the tributes for the influential designer, with several players and teams taking to social media to offer their condolences.
Clippers star Paul George spoke to the media after his game against the Warriors, describing Abloh as “one of a kind” with his impact on culture.
“A pioneer for our generation, the young generation,” George said. “He just created a wave of young African Americans, young men and women of color, to bridge the gap. Especially with something as big as Nike and the world of fashion. He was one of a kind and definitely opened doors for many. Up-and-coming designers. You deserve your flowers. It’s a shame. “
The Bulls family wishes to extend our condolences to the friends and family of Virgil Abloh, a creative force who inspired so many. We will miss him very much.
– Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) November 28, 2021
Over the years, Abloh’s sneakers have been an on-court staple for some of the league’s hottest players, including PJ Tucker, Jordan Clarkson and Montrezl Harrel.
Let’s take a look at some of the most iconic Off-Whites we’ve seen adorning hardwood over the years.
Last week against the Charlotte Hornets, Harrell broke the Off-White Jordan 1s.
In 2017, while playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, Clarkson wore the Off-White x Nike React Hyperdunk.
In 2018, Russell Westbrook arrived for a playoff game against the Utah Jazz in the Off-White c / o Virgil Abloh Converse Chuck Taylor.
Devin Booker’s sneaker game is on another level, frequently rocking a series of different Kobe EPs, but the Phoenix Suns guard has frequently been on the court wearing some of Abloh’s designs.
In 2018, he rocked the Off-White Converse Chuck 70s.
In 2017, against the Los Angeles Lakers, Booker was receiving baskets on the Off-White Hyperdunks
There was no bigger supporter of Virgil Abloh’s designs in the NBA than the King PJ Tucker shoe, which has almost every shoe in its rotation.
Even the Off-White x Nike Air Max 90.
In 2020, Tucker fell to the ground at Madison Square Garden in the Off-White Jordan V !.
In 2017, Tucker rocked the Air Jordan 1 Off-White.
During the 2020 NBA Finals, Tucker debuted a pair of custom Jordan 1s designed by Beverly Hills shoe surgeon and jeweler Jason, who remixed the Off-White 1s into a diamond-encrusted work of art.
Even Giannis Antetokounmpo couldn’t believe it.
The $ 250,000 sneakers are one of Tucker’s.
While playing for the Houston Rockets, the NBA sneaker king pulled out a pair of Abloh’s Nike Hyperdunk sneakers, customized by The Shoe Surgeon.
Abloh’s version came in white, but Tucker added the red color scheme to match his Houston uniform.
Abloh’s influence on NBA fashion was immense and his life and art will live on through his designs.
Rest in peace.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.