Last week, two-time All Star Paul George opened the House of Rise and Rise for Nike Philippines. Rise, for those not in the know, is Nike’s basketball reality show/basketball development program. This is the first time Nike has scoured the country for raw, ready to be trained talent, giving them the once in a lifetime experience to train and feel like a true Nike athlete.
Aside from inspiring the 24 aspirants, Paul George sat down with us to talk about life off the court. Being a true sneaker enthusiast and clotheshorse, PG shared a couple more things on the Nike Sportswear side of things. Here’s how our sit down with PG13 worked out.
Sole Movement: What is your off court style and how is it influenced by basketball?
Paul George: I like everything to be fitted. I’m a skinny/slim guy, so I like to appear much bigger than I actually am. So I definitely like the Euro slim cut. One of my favorite outfits off court are the Nike fleece sweatsuits. I wear that maybe 70-80%, if I’m not dressing up. I just like everything to be snug and cozy.
SM: So is that like your after training/post game go-to look?
PG: Yeah, I get to the arena pretty early. So it’s about being comfortable, and I feel confident in it. I feel like I’m getting ready to go to battle. I’m snug, feel like I can move easily, and in Indiana it’s cold so I like to stay warm. So that’s what I love about the fleece.
SM: One thing that’s been publicized is that you love sneakers. Tell us more about your sneaker collection?
PG: I got a lot, from Air Maxes, the Pennys, to Jordans. I collect almost any and every shoe, just because I love colors, I love the stories that some shoes tell. Like the Pennys, they come in so many colorways, sometimes I just line them all up, look at all of them. It’s a joy to me and get a rush out of it because growing up, I wasn’t fortunate to have tennis shoes. It’s like you get 2-3 pairs a year, to now I get to buy the shoes I want to wear. So it’s a huge collection that I have. I have about 200-300 pairs. I gave away so many, my number probably would be through the roof. But yeah, 200-300 pairs that would never leave my side.
SM: Do you wear all of them?
PG: Well, you know the secret- you gotta buy two. Haha, one to stock, one to rock. At some point, I’ll wear all the sneakers, unless I get only 1 pair, then they’re just for show.
SM: Any favorites?
PG: I love the (Jordan) 6s, I love all the Pennys, from the ones that recently came out, the Gone Fishin’ Foams. I love the Galaxy Foams when those came out. I was a big fan of the Huaraches. Now, my favorite shoe is the Janoski. Being a West Coast guy, we’re used to being laid back, having a sneaker that you can pretty much wear with anything. So right now, the Janoski is my favorite shoe.
SM: If we follow you into a sneaker store, what would attract you to a certain shoe?
PG: It would definitely be the colors. I love bright colors, I think they really pop out, and really stand out. So for them to mix colors and blend them well, I think that’s what makes the shoe.
SM: So if you’re going out, would you start with your clothes or your shoes?
PG: It’s the sneakers. I go from toe to head, haha. Again, I just think it’s the shoes that make the outfit. You can pretty much wear anything, but if your shoes are not coordinated with your outfit, it kinda kills it. Even if you don’t match ‘em, it’s the colors of the shoes that bring that outfit together. So when I’m getting dressed, I definitely line up my shoes first, then I put the accessories that go with it, then have my whole outfit going.
SM: Is there anything else that inspires/influences your style?
PG: Nahh, I just think it’s the West. A lot of LA guys, it’s just something about the sneakers that we enjoy. Probably 95% of my shoes are laced like this, it’s just the style that we have up in LA. It’s grown on me and I think I’ll be a sneakerhead for life.
SM: Before you signed with Nike, what’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to get a pair of sneakers?
PG: Aw man, I used to write letters and put them on my dad’s dresser. I would then clip a picture out of the Easybay catalog, and just throw subliminal hints that these are comin’ out this week. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. Haha.
SM: You’ve been with the brand for some time now, let’s take it back. What was it like when they handed you your first ever PE?
PG: Yeah, It was awesome.
SM: Do you still remember which one?
PG: Yeah, it was the Hyperdunk. I remember just opening the box, closin’ the box. Opening the box, closin’ the box. It was surreal. I’ve always dreamed of that moment. I had Danny Granger on the team and I used to see all his colorways with his name on ‘em, and I was like, “Man, I’m jealous!”. So I wanted that for myself and was extremely happy that I got my first PEs.
There you have it, PG13 talking about his love for sneakers and his offcourt look. If you have time and are in the area, do check out the House of Rise along Sheridan, Greenfield District (near the TV5 office along Shaw Blvd). Tune in for more about RISE and the exclusive gear for the entire program.