When it comes to rare sneakers, there are several reasons why a shoe is hard to find or commands very high prices on the resale market.
The first, and the one everyone hopes for is that the demand is so high either due to amazing looks, a fantastic endorsement or association with greatness that no matter how many you sell there still aren’t enough to go around, as was the case with legendary Jordan colour ways such as the Jordan 12 Flu Game.
However, they cannot all be associated with greatness, and for each historically brilliant sneaker, some became rare due to bad luck, bad circumstances or awful timing to the point that they are seemingly cursed.
Here are some of the most cursed, snakebitten sneaker lines ever, from shoes associated with injury and legal troubles to those that are the victim of circumstances.
New Balance P740 James Worthy
Typically, the sneaker brand New Balance does not dabble a lot in endorsements, and one wonders if the reason why was caused by their ill-fated collaboration with Showtime Laker James Worthy in 1989.
The P740 was given the slogan “Trust Worthy”, which ended up being somewhat unfortunate for New Balance when Big Game James was arrested in 1990 for solicitation, forcing the shoe company to drop the three-time NBA champion.
They have garnered a cult following thanks to various retro lines but the shoes deserved better than the fate they were dealt.
In The Zone Bobby Hurley Signature
In The Zone (ITZ) was a short-lived footwear line linked very closely with Foot Locker, and their one and only sneaker endorsement were one that was possibly more cursed than any seen before or since.
Bobby Hurley was a highly successful college point guard that seemed to be ready to become a major force in the basketball world during a time when nothing was certain in the NBA.
ITZ quickly snapped up the seventh overall pick and outfitted him with a signature shoe complete with delightfully amateurish advertising.
Tragically, on 12th December 1993, Bobby Hurley would suffer life-threatening injuries after ending up in a serious car accident, and his promising career would never emerge the way it should have. ITZ did not last much longer after this.
Big Baller Brands ZO2 Prime
A far more controversial example of when the sneaker endorsement game can get very sad, very ugly and very unfortunate is the story of Lonzo Ball’s first signature shoe and how it could have potentially ruined his career.
Lonzo Ball received a sneaker endorsement from his dad’s company, Big Baller Brands, but aside from the controversial nature of the company itself and the many allegations surrounding it, the shoes themselves may have caused career-threatening injuries.
After multiple ankle and knee injuries, the Los Angeles Lakers asked the player if the shoes were causing any issues, and after Mr Ball left BBB he tacitly admitted that the shoes would regularly split and break on him, leading to rapid surreptitious swaps each quarter of Summer League play.
He has since jumped from team to team, and one wonders what could have happened had he chosen a different pair of shoes that first vital season.