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Earlier this year, NBA MVP Stephen Curry’s signature Under Armour shoe, the Curry 2 Low, became the laughingstock of Twitter. It was just so pedestrian, so middle-aged, so… white.
But could another shoe be lamer? Sadly for Houston Rocket and former Kardashian konsort James Harden, the answer is yes.
Just look at Harden’s first signature sneaker from Adidas, in Triple Black.
Look at it.
Finally Harden makes a basketball shoe for me, a waiter at Chili's. pic.twitter.com/Etw6Ihl0bQ— Jordan Pryor (@jordodale) August 24, 2016
Gaze into the Harden 1 Triple Black, and the Harden 1 Triple Black gazes also into you.
Is the new James Harden shoe exclusively for people with fallen arches?— Ryan (@Muntedone) August 24, 2016
"Nice shoes, uh...two-feet." pic.twitter.com/QBUquki7lW
Twitter is ideal as a platform for roasting bad shoes to a crisp—even if Harden’s look like they come pre-roasted. There was the Curry 2 Low fiasco, of course, but there was also the 8-month mocking of Jon “@fart” Hendren’s horrible Vans. And just when you think it’s over, his friends start it up again.
Now Harden’s shoes are getting it from all sides:
Little Known Fact— Roxxy Haze (@iamroxxyhaze) August 24, 2016
Xzibit was wearing James Harden's shoe when he got roasted by Eminem in 8 Mile pic.twitter.com/qXB8cqrMBi
James Harden shoe looks like a fried boot. pic.twitter.com/UlVBI00iVn— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) August 24, 2016
I refuse to believe these are the new James Harden sneakers, these the no-slip joints that the restaurant provides pic.twitter.com/pyuNUS6tzP— Hanif Abdurraqib (@NifMuhammad) August 24, 2016
James harden really made sneakers for grandpa Joe from Charlie and the Chocolate factory pic.twitter.com/zo8M0vdOoG— Desus Nice (@desusnice) August 24, 2016
James Harden with the MAILMAN 7s pic.twitter.com/TRo2d9OTAz— Complex Sneakers (@ComplexSneakers) August 24, 2016
A few points in Harden’s defense, though: First, this is allegedly a leaked photo, so maybe the real shoe will be better? Second, Harden is an inveterate troll on the court, and therein lies his basketball genius. Maybe the shoes are just a really good joke, just seeing how ugly he can make something and still get people to wear it?
Third, and most important: Those Curry 2 Lows? The ones everyone on Twitter was mocking as ugly shoes for old dads? They were a huge success. In fact, they sold out.
“Under Armour was playing a different game than Adidas or Nike,” Esquire posits. “The company wasn’t trying to be cool; it was trying to move product. The Curry 2 low wasn’t stylish then, and it isn’t now. But that’s not the point—and that’s exactly what the haters missed.”
Maybe Adidas is playing that game, too. And who cares if the Hardens mostly end up on the floor at Applebee’s, as long as they sell?
H/T Hot New Hip Hop
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.