Dwyane Wade hates America, that’s what I’m taking away from the news that he left Michael Jordan’s brand to become the new face of the Chinese company Li Ning. Named for China’s most famous gymnast, Li Ning is hardly a presence in the States, which is why the company and Wade are banking on this new partnership to bring China’s most popular brand to the forefront of the U.S. market. When I think about how this will affect the Chinese workers who make the shoes for American companies, it almost makes me sick that Wade would turn his back on us like this.
But that’s the chance he’s willing to take, as the first designs of Wade’s new shoes were released this week and people seem to be really excited about them. Still, why leave the guaranteed fame and fortune that comes with the Jordan brand to take such a huge risk at this point in his career? Wade finally broke his silence in an interview with the Associated Press.
"It was a great nine years, but for me, it was just time to move on," Wade told the AP. "I have certain goals that I want to reach and I felt that I had to leave to reach those. So I'm doing things a little differently. That's how I am, in a sense. I'm not necessarily a status-quo type guy."
"What you see in China will not be the final product," Wade said.
Okay, so he didn’t really elaborate on why, but at least he broke the silence. In the meantime, I’ll just assume the why is that Li Ning is going to pay him a metric sh*t ton of cash to help the company conquer America. The new designs are already a hit in China, too, according to the website Kenlu’s author, who was one of the first people to post the pictures. From the always delightful Google translator:
This pair of shoes is the book of LiNing, X Wade A few days ago, Dwyane Wade exercises. Neat design coupled with a low-key black, so that the whole pair of shoes has a feeling of understated luxury. Know all our friends will be willing to pay to pay? The least small already can not wait to start to look at China's current leading brand Li Ning, the first dual-Wade X Li Ning.
As Wade said, this design is just the beginning, and thank goodness, because I think they’re boring. But I’m also not really a shoe guy, so what the hell do I know? Check out the shoes for yourself, as well as my own design input and suggestion that might help Wade push these kicks over the top.