Commentary

Who had the best sneakers of Week 21 in the NBA?

Originally Published: March 11, 2018
By Nick DePaula | ESPN.com

Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

Since returning to the Miami Heat, Dwyane Wade has looked to re-engage with the local community and celebrate his longtime legacy in the area that extends far beyond just the American Airlines Arena court.

Within a week of his return, tragedy struck at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. One of the students lost was Joaquin Oliver, a 17-year-old Heat fan who had idolized Wade throughout his Hall of Fame career. Oliver was buried in his favorite Heat No. 3 jersey.

"It's a tough time for their family," Wade said. "It's a tough time for a lot of families in Parkland."

Over the past month, Wade has included a hand-scribed tribute to Oliver on the midsole of his shoes for every game, along with the hashtag #MSDstrong. Wade also presented the Oliver family with a customized pair of his Li-Ning Way of Wade 6s featuring the Stoneman Douglas school logo and Oliver's name along the strap.

Wade plans to continue his tribute throughout the rest of the season. On Wednesday, he surprised Stoneman Douglas students at the school's first day of full classes since the shooting, engaging in discussions around gun violence solutions and ways in which he could impact both the Miami-area community and his hometown of Chicago.

While Wade's kicks have taken on far more meaning than most, several players around the league brought out batches of rare or unseen sneakers in Week 21. Longtime Jordan Brand headliner Chris Paul had yet another player-exclusive colorway of the company's most sought-after model, a simple white-and-red edition of the iconic, patent leather Air Jordan 11.

His Rockets teammate PJ Tucker has been turning heads all season long, and this week was no different. Just ahead of International Women's Day, Tucker caught everyone by surprise by wearing a 2009 pair of the Air Max LeBron 7 that was originally custom-made for WNBA legend Diana Taurasi in Team USA colors.

Clippers center Montrezl Harrell is the only player who has come close to matching Tucker's frequency all season, and he yet again wore a different pair for each game this week. Styled alongside the team's nautical era inspired "community" jerseys, Harrell matched a pair of the 2013 "Venice Beach" Kobe 8s for LA's home win over Orlando.

While most of the best sneakers are typically vintage pairs or rare surprises, Kyrie Irving debuted the newest addition to his Nike series, a more affordable $80 complement to his higher-priced signature sneaker. Dubbed the Kyrie Flytrap, his pair also included shoelaces highlighting the Boston Celtics' 17 championships.

Check out the best sneakers worn this week below and vote for your favorites.

Nick DePaula

ESPN

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