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Dwyane Wade Explains Why He Left Jordan Brand For Li-Ning

Submitted by on October 12, 2012 – 11:29 amNo Comment

For the last week or so, sneaker blogs have been buzzing with the news about Dwyane Wade making the jump from Jordan Brand to the Chinese sneaker company Li-Ning. Jordan Brand and Nike obviously make up a huge percentage of the basketball sneaker market in America (some experts say they make 95 percent of the market today), so a lot of people were miffed when Wade made his decision. After all, what does Li-Ning know about making a quality basketball sneaker for an NBA champion? Can they make a sneaker as good as whatever Jordan Brand was preparing for D-Wade this season? And, what did Wade get in return for making the jump? A blank check?

On Wednesday, Wade finally broke his silence about the deal in an interview with the Associated Press. He didn’t say exactly what he got for signing with Li-Ning—though insiders have said that he received a stake in the company in exchange for his services, which would make sense both for him and the company—but he did talk about leaving behind the U.S. sneaker companies for one based out of China.

“It was a great nine years, but for me, it was just time to move on,” he 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.”

Wade also said that the sneakers that he will be wearing this week in China when the Miami Heat face off against the Los Angeles Clippers twice are not the sneakers that will be available in stores. They’ll actually be a bit different and will retail in the U.S. in 2013 for about $120.

“What you see in China will not be the final product,” he said.

Take a look at the sneakers below. Will you pay $120 for a sneaker made by a Chinese company? Or, are you sticking with the U.S.-based sneaker companies?

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