Yesterday afternoon, I was on hand in New York City to check out the unveiling of the latest from the Jordan Brand, the Air Jordan XX8. The place was jumping. The atmosphere was great. And the sneakers were definitely interesting – check out what we had to say about them here (I will also be writing a longer recap on the event soon).
Russell Westbrook was in the house as well. He’s debuting the new Jordans tonight against the Nets, and towards the end of the event yesterday, he took some time out to catch up with the media in attendance.
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Dime: How does it feel to be a part of Team Jordan?
Russell Westbrook: It’s great. It’s a good opportunity. It’s a good feeling. It’s good.
Dime: Everyone knows you have your own specific style. How does Jordan fit into that? What about their products attracted you to them?
RW: There are a variety of different Jordans as you know that come out. Different colorways. Different names. A lot of different things. I definitely don’t want to be the same. I like to be different and do my own thing.
Dime: What’s it going to be like debuting this shoe (tonight)?
RW: It’s great. It’s a good opportunity for me. It’s a great feeling.
Dime: What’s your favorite Jordans?
RW: The XIs. The Cool Greys. I probably won’t play in those this season. I like to keep those nice.
Dime: After you debut these XX8, are you going to be wearing them for most of the rest of the year?
RW: Maybe. Maybe not. Sometimes. From time to time.
Dime: These were wear tested more than any Jordan sneaker ever. Did you get a chance to mess around with them a lot during the process?
RW: Yeah, it was fun. It was good. I tested them out a few times, working out and things like that so it was good.
Dime: How are you going to play in them? Zipped or unzipped?
RW: Either way. You can zip ‘em up or zip ‘em down because half of the shoe… there’s nothing at the top. Most of the shoe is right on the mid.
Dime: Do you think that’ll appeal to a larger audience in any way because it’s almost like two different sneakers?
RW: Yeah, I think it will actually. Once you can figure out you can zip ‘em up or zip ‘em down, you can wear them with regular clothes. You can wear them basically whenever.
Dime: Coming to Jordan, what type of relationship do you have with the man himself?
RW: Not much right now, especially during the year. He has his club and I have my team. But I’m pretty sure in the summertime, we will create a better relationship.
Dime: A lot of people say you have some similarities to a young Michael Jordan in your game. Do you think that was part of the attraction for them to bring you on?
RW: I think so. I think it’s a good attribute to have with someone like Michael Jordan. I’m excited to be a part of the brand.
Dime: What about as far as the colorways the rest of the season? What can we expect from you? Will there be a lot of different ones?
RW: Definitely. Hopefully I get an opportunity to showcase them, but I will.
Dime: What’s that like getting boxes of sneakers from Jordans?
RW: It’s crazy man. It’s a different thing. It’s crazy to be able to come home and see all of these boxes stacked up, so it’s crazy.
Dime: Were Jordans always your favorite sneakers?
RW: Oh yeah, growing up. I wasn’t always able to afford them though.
Dime: When you first saw this shoe, what was your reaction?
RW: I liked it. It’s a great shoe. It’s a different shoe.
Dime: What stood out to you when you were wear testing?
RW: How versatile the shoe is. You can wear them in a lot of different ways.
What are your favorite Jordans of all time?
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