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Designer Spotlight: Benjamin Nethongkome

We all know what Boston Celtic’s point guard Kyrie Irving can do. After all, he’s not a 5x NBA All-Star and NBA champion for no reason. Before addressing a knee injury with season-ending surgery Kyrie Irving was a problem. Statistically, he had one of the best seasons of his career. His posted the highest field goal percentage of his career converting 40% of his shots from behind the arc and knocking down 54% of his 2 point attempts.

As he continues his young but vaunted career, the 26 year old continually improves his incredible skill set. The ability to light it up from deep and seemingly dance his way to the rim using his incomparable handle means that Kyrie needs a shoe that can handle swift changes in pace while providing stability and comfort.


Photo via Nike

Enter Benjamin Nethongkome, the lead designer of the Kyrie 4 and the new Kyrie Low. Nethongkome had been working for Nike since 2007 before taking the reins on designing the Kyrie 4 from his predecessor and mentor Leo Chang who was also working simultaneously on the Kevin Durant line. Prior to working with Kyrie, Nethongkome was in charge of developing the Mentality 2 and Mamba Rage for the Black Mamba himself, Kobe Bryant.

In an interview with The Undefeated, Nethongkome said Kyrie’s sole focus during the design process is the evolution of his game stating, “Kyrie always challenges us as we get into design. He always goes back to this question: ‘Is this shoe going to make me better?’ We focused on performance. A high-performing basketball shoe, that’s what this is. Every little detail, the deciding factor was will it make Kyrie better?” It looks like their attention to detail paid off as the Kyrie 4 is one of the best selling signature models on the market and Uncle Drew himself played some of his best basketball to date while laced up in the Kyrie 4.

After dropping the nostalgia-tinged Kyrie Low we're excited to see what Ben, Kyrie, and Nike pull out for the dynamic guard's 5th signature model.