Stephon Marbury, promoting the attempted renewal of his Starbury shoe line, ripped Michael Jordan, Nike’s sneaker king, over violence that has erupted over the release of his expensive, exclusive shoes over the years.
Marbury, who now plays in China, was touting his shoes as a bargain on social media when a reader noted that he chose Starburys when they were going for $15 a pair rather than the latest edition of Jordan’s, which go for hundreds of dollars. The unveiling of the latest Air Jordan models always arrives with great fanfare. The arrival of limited editions of Jordan’s Nike shoes has been met with violence that Marbury finds unconscionable.
Real people know. I'm off the kids getting killed for Jordan's. I hate that this dude won't change that. Greedy!
— I AM PEACE STAR (@StarburyMarbury)
Another Twitter user responded that Jordan only cares about profits from the line’s sales, not the “troubling impact” of those sales. Jordan, a billionaire, made $100 million in 2014 from Nike, Jumpman and Air Jordan, according to a PBS NewsHour report this month on the 2014-15 $34-billion sneaker industry. Nike and the Jordan Brand account for more than 90 percent of basketball shoe sales in the U.S., according to the report. Forbes broke it down further last spring:
Nike’s Jordan Brand is a financial juggernaut. Jordan U.S. shoe sales rose 17% last year to $2.6 billion, according to data compiled by SportScanInfo. Jordan has eight times the sales of the signature shoes for the top active NBA star, LeBron James. Jordan apparel and the international business add more than $1 billion as well. The Jordan Brand commanded 58% market share of the $4.2 billion U.S. basketball shoe market last year, up from 54% in 2013. The Swoosh’s share jumps to 95.5% if you include Nike Basketball. The competition: Adidas (2.6% share), Under Armour (1%) and Reebok (0.8%)
For Marbury, that is obscene.
Jordan has been robbing the hood since. Kids dying for shoes and the only face this dude makes is I don't care. The time will change!
I hate when kids cry because they can't get this dude shoes because they can't afford to buy them. It's hard on moms
Jordan isn’t the only athlete with a huge markup on his shoes. LeBron James, one Twitter user noted, has signature shoes that go for over $200. “He’s a follower, ” Marbury replied, “not even giving that any energy.”
Now playing for Beijing in the Chinese Basketball Association, Marbury was also aware of the disparity between the cost of production and the price of the shoes.
Home boy your paying 200 for Jordan's and they make them for 5 dollars. The shoes are made in China in the same places. Stay calm we coming!
Nike and the Jordan Brand, of course, aren’t the only high-priced sneakers and the company has tried to temper the release of new models with RSVP and raffle systems, including for the Kevin Durant shoes, through the internet. But violence has occurred for years and resulted in a memorable Sports Illustrated cover in 1990.