LeBron and Entourage a bad fit with Nike Top Designer
Tinker Hatfield is the Michael Jordan of designers at Nike, a legend in the shoe design field.
He also, apparently, is not a fan of LeBron James’ associates.
Hatfield rarely does interviews and guards his secrets closely. But he did a private appearance at a Miami shoe store last week in which he took some questions from customers. During the session, which was recorded and posted on YouTube, Hatfield said he stopped personally developing James’ signature shoes because he didn’t like dealing with those around James.
“I don’t like working with LeBron’s entourage,” Hatfield said. “It’s too many people, too many ideas, too many opinions.”
It is the second time in the last six months Hatfield has publicly taken a shot at James various friends and managers. During a similar event last October in Santa Monica, Calif., Hatfield told a group of listeners at a shoe store that “I used to work on LeBron’s, until his entourage kind of pissed me off.”
Hatfield was the main designer on the first generations of James’ shoes, starting in 2003. But according to sources, in 2008 he stopped working with him to focus working on Kobe Bryant’s shoes and the Jordan Brand. In the meantime, Hatfield said last week that James’ products have “suffered a little bit” and “hasn’t done as well as the Kobe stuff.”
“[Working with Bryant] one guy comes into the room with him and he has ideas and is very forward thinking and is smart about what he needs to do, what he thinks he needs to do to be a better player,” Hatfield said last week.
“LeBron is a great guy, I really like him, but when he comes into the room and he’s got like eight other guys saying things. That is one reason why the LeBron stuff, even though it does OK, it isn’t quite as exciting to me as the Kobe stuff or what we’ve done with the Jordan Brand.”
James signed a new long-term contract with Nike last season.
What should i do? Should I admit that I can't tie my laces? Should I tell you my boys don't like the squeaky sound my shoes make? Should I wear my socks on the outside? Should I put away my designs that I did with my shiny new crayons? Do you think they know I ate the red crayon? Should I go to the bathroom to make sure I don't have crayon stuck in my teeth? What should I do?
LeBron needs to get rid of the dead weight and bring in some smart business people. Obviously the people around him don't fit that description. And as for people saying that 'oh people will try to take advantage of him, he needs to stick with people he trusts.' I think once you reach a certain level of success in the business world that goes out the window as the best financially viable decisions for all involved are those that also benefit LeBron the most.
I have a pair of 2's. Worn them for about 7 years now and they have held up incredibly. Very solid construction....
Yeah, I bought 2 pairs of the 2s. The black/red which I balled in and the blue/grey which I keep for my collection. The 2s were like a sock, fit so comfortably, had great games in and they were pretty. But everything after has been either ugly or too heavy.
The LeBron 1s/Air Zoom Generations were also great. I still ball in them when I play outdoors. Solid sneakers.