LeBron James All-Star shoes: Lakers star pays tribute to Deion Sanders with signature sneaker in 2024

LeBron James was a record-setter at the 2024 NBA All-Star Game. Not only did he participate in a record 20th All-Star Game, but he also started the game for the 20th consecutive year.

20 is a nice round number, but 21 was James’ focus on Sunday night. As the Lakers star enjoys his 21st NBA season, he’s celebrating in more ways than one.

James’ All-Star Game sneakers caught the attention of viewers, and there’s an interesting meaning behind the kicks as the basketball icon paid tribute to a legend from another sport.

Here’s what you need to know about James’ All-Star Game shoes from Sunday night’s game in Indianapolis.

MORE: LeBron James addresses future, retirement speculation

LeBron James All-Star Game shoes

James wore the LeBron 21 Air DT Max at the 2024 NBA All-Star Game. 

The inspiration for James’ sneakers? Deion Sanders, who became synonymous with the number 21 when he wore it during his days as one of the NFL’s elite defenders. This is season No. 21 for James, and he’s embracing the remarkable longevity he’s been able to achieve despite having so much mileage on his body.

“Right here, these are LeBron 21 mixed with the prime Deion,” James said in a pregame video posted by NBA Kicks on Sunday. 

The shoe was extremely similar to Sanders’ Air DT Max ’96, a classic from the 1990s that Sanders made popular during his outstanding career on the field. The sneaker has been revived at times since 1996, including earlier this year.

Sanders’ return to prominence as head football coach at Colorado has also helped bring the sneaker back into the spotlight, and James put his own twist on it with the All-Star lights shining down in Indianapolis.

James, who has referred to himself as a Cowboys fan, has often praised Sanders in the past and credits the NFL legend with inspiring his pregame rituals.

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