Sneaker King P.J. Tucker is not there for the hype


P.J. Tucker loves pancakes and he likes them a lot. Houston Rocket, 33, starts every day with a stack of cakes, sometimes between 10 am and noon, and usually in a place that is recommended. He often opts for the same order: a stack of plain and a pile of blueberry from the house, Fruity Pebbles, purple sweet potato, and so on. It only ends the simple stack, however. The signature is just for tasting, deference to the place of pancakes and to show his dedication to exploring the vastness of pancake opportunities.

"I've been doing it for a long time – as long as I can remember it," he says. "I always eat them on match days because I do not like to eat just before the matches. It's a good, solid, early meal that lasts a long time. I just started posting [the pancakes] to social media, and it has become a thing. It's hilarious; Whenever I arrive in a new city, I would have a thousand DM to find out where to get pancakes. "

Tucker's dynamism on social media feeds his basketball fans who want to know the star in real life. It shows them nuances of the personality that exists out of the court, connecting them in a way that was not quite possible before. They know, for example, that he has a passion for certain foods for breakfast.

You have to imagine that Tucker's successful connection to social networks on social networks is possible, at least in part, because he is so sure of himself in real life. If he's confident in anything, he insists, it's that he knows exactly what he likes and what he likes. " not. That's why his brand, the one his fans see on social media, is so strong.

And while Tucker has a public passion for pancakes, his dedication to his sneaker collection is ten times greater. He has the reach and influence needed to inspire a new one every time he wears a new shoe or digital gallery displaying all the shoes that he has worn (and integrated) with every game.

Only, Tucker is not there for the hype of the shoe culture. His track record of very expensive, uncommon, and yet untrained field sneakers might suggest the opposite: Nike Air Force 1, Nike Stewie Griffin LeBron 6 and Nike Hyperdunk McFlys. But if you ask him, he will tell you that there is only one reason he wore each of these shoes: he likes them.

Tucker considers himself a sneakerhead in the true sense of the word. He considers shoes with respect and reverence. According to him, wearing ultra-bridle sneakers in the field is not a flex, but a way to respect the real goal of the shoe.

"I consider myself to be one of really true to the sneaker culture," he says. "It's really about shoes; it's not about hype or what people think of them. I do not wear shoes just because people say they're cool, or because [someone] will give me an advertisement to wear them. I will only wear shoes that I like. I think this is an essential part of the culture of sneakers: wear what you love. "

Tucker likes a lot of shoes. So, in fact, that he has no idea how many pairs of sneakers he has. The last time he counted, it was in 2013 and he was over 4,000. It would take into the closets, hallways and houses to get an exact number. Moreover, he does not really see the point. His closets-sneakers and beyond-are always changing, anyway.

Photo credit: Kat Wirsing


Photo credit: Kat Wirsing


"I wear clothes once or twice, then give them or give them," he says. "I would like to have more of a method to organize them. During the season, it's chaos. There are shoes that I wear with some outfits, shoes that I wear to play basketball, shoes that I wear every day – it's like different parts of the house where they are. I'll take the ones I think are wearing and bring them closer to the door so I can catch them when I go out. It helps me to see who I want to play with.

There is no specific procedure for choosing your sneakers on the court. Sometimes he chooses from a group he has in his closet for a few years. Other times, like when the Rockets play the Knicks at Madison Square Garden, he knows what shoes he will wear as soon as he gets them. (For the Knicks at MSG in January 2019: a pair of Nike LeBron III Supermans.) One time he did not wear the exact shoe that he had planned on the IV Travis Scott x Air Jordan because he did not had not had time.

Chaos, last-minute decisions, is exactly what draws Tucker towards sneakers and fashion in general. This should not be too much planned, because if you take only two sneakers and two outfits and you end up hating both when you get there? This removes the pleasure of clothing, the pleasure of adapting what you wear to your mood, your feeling or your mood that day. This is how you develop and stay true to your personal style.

Photo credit: Kat Wirsing


This belief fuels Tucker's personal buying habits, both ridiculous and laudable. He just went shopping. No matter what city he visits, no matter how long he spends, he'll find the coolest designers, brands, or streetwear stores, and he'll commit himself with no other plan than to see if he can love something and buy it if he wants. Is. It's as simple and amazing as doing it, especially when one trip may include dropping a white t-shirt and pajamas.

Photo credit: Kat Wirsing


"I do not consider myself a creative person, but I think that's the part of me that's creative," he says. "The totality [shopping] The experience for me, is just seeing what is there and what I like. I do not like to shop for specific things; I'm shopping. I look at it like, "I love it, so I'm going to buy it and I put it in my closet, and it disappears until I need it." Assembling an outfit is the best part of it. "

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "It does not matter if you like it In fact, he likes when a particular outfit can elicit a reaction: "If you leave the house and, at least some of the time, someone does not tell you that they do not like your outfit, you're not doing it right, "he says." You're not trying. "" You're not taking enough risks. "You know, somebody should tell you that they do not really like you to be an outfit. I like it when people say that, actually. Well! I did not wear it for you to like it. I wore it because I like it. "" Data-reactid = "188"> He does not like it too much if you like his outfit. In fact, he likes when a particular outfit can provoke a reaction. "If you leave home and, at least, some time, someone does not tell you that he does not like your outfit, you're not doing it right," he says. Do not try, you do not take enough risks, you know, somebody should tell you that they do not really like you to be an outfit. I like it when people say that, actually. Well! I did not wear it for you to like it. I wore it because I like it. "

Photo credit: Kat Wirsing


But, of course, his love for style begins with the real: with sneakers. Tucker is not new on the scene either. He started young, queuing early in the morning while he was in college to take a pair of Air Jordans.

"Air Jordans was everything," he says. "The Concord 11 were probably the ones that stood out the most. It was an entire event. When they announced the arrival of these, it was 6 am at the store. We were late to school. We wanted to be the first children to wear them. We would have put a whole outfit together just to get the shoes. "

He is fully aware of the persistence of the same "wake up and go to school of sneakers" mentality. Only, it's different now. Instead of buying trendy sneakers to wear them immediately, children buy to sell them. They line up for sneakers in boxes they can never open, made of patterns and fabrics they will never touch. They will spend whole days sacrificing their grades in school, and will all buy basketball shoes in which they will never play. Overall, he feels more than in conflict.

"I hate him and I love him. As a buyer, I love it because I can always find the shoe that I'm looking for because someone bought it and it does not have the size and wants to earn some dollars. As a person who likes shoes, she kills them. Now you have people who buy a ton of shoes that are not even their size just to sell them. I am everything to be an entrepreneur and all that, but the people who arrive do not really have any connection with the sneakers. "

It is this connection – the true love for sneakers – he feels that the current culture of sneakers is absent. "It's like," Oh, everybody wants them, I know they're expensive, so I got them. "It's not," Oh, I really like these shoes, they're super cool. I know exactly what they will match. These are things, like doing an outfit and wearing shoes because you like them, that make the sneakers really cool for me. "

The hype sometimes becomes so intense that Tucker recoils completely.

Photo credit: Kat Wirsing


"I even stopped wearing broken whites and some like me a lot," he says. "It came to the point where it was ridiculous. As cool as they are, there is this hype behind them, and many people just wear them because of the hype. "

Tucker is aware, of course, that it is part of the hype cycle. Like many athletes, he will wear a sports shoe first, he will wear it, and because he has it – because fans see it on social media as soon as he He enters a given arena, with sneakers in his hand – $ 150 Sneaker will be worth twice, triple, quadruple the original price.

"We create hype," he says. "We do, but [some of the] the things surrounding it are fluffy. Soft toys are just not for me. "

Of course, he talks about lack of love for the shoe. This is where the disconnection occurs: the culture of the sneaker is to switch and no longer to the sneaker.

"I carry everything. I do not care how much they cost, how much they are worth, how much they are limited, he said. In the end, these are always sneakers. "

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