words // Nick DePaula
interview // Zac Dubasik
While most NBA players swear they've been stashing sneakers since high school, Eddy Curry was actually a bit of a late bloomer. Selected by his hometown Chicago Bulls in the 2001 NBA Draft, he was of course wearing all of the latest in-line models that Nike Basketball provided him, but it wasn't until a few seasons later during his time as a New York Knick that he really began to pay attention, follow, hunt down and proudly wear around a variety of shoes.
Sole Collector caught up with Curry just before the Miami Heat destroyed the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier tonight to get his thoughts on his favorite shoes on and off the court, why he made sure to wear the Air Jordan VI for tonight's game and how he tracks down his favorite pairs in size 16 and 17.
Zac Dubasik: Hey man, I’m Zac from Sole Collector --
Eddy Curry: Oh, you work for Sole Collector? That’s what up. I follow y’all on Instagram, Twitter and all of that.
ZD: Oh, that’s cool.
EC: Yeah man.
ZD: So it sounds like you’re into sneakers.
EC: Of course.
ZD: So what are you going to wear tonight?
EC: I’ll be in Infrared VIs tonight.
ZD: Are you open to playing in most of the stuff that you have, or do you have any pairs that you keep tucked away for something special?
EC: I got stuff that I keep special, and if I don’t have at least three pairs of it, then I won’t play in it. [laughs] These Infrareds will turn yellow man! I asked my wife, “Are you sure I have another pair of these at the house?” She said yeah, so I said, “Alright, send them to me and I’ll wear them.” I actually had her send these to me yesterday. I realized it was MJ’s birthday today, and I had to pull out some Js tonight.
ZD: How many sneakers do you have at your place?
EC: Man, I have so many sneakers. Over a thousand probably. Well over a thousand.
ZD: Is it hard to get that many in your size?
EC: It used to be. For the past six years or so though, they started making bigger sizes for quick strikes that I could track down. When I was in New York, I met Mike Packer there and also some guys from Flight Club. Now they’re always letting me know when things come in that are in my size. I also have a lot of friends that are willing to stand in lines and help me out. It’s definitely something that I’m very passionate about.
ZD: Was there a pair of shoes that originally got you into sneakers?
EC: Actually, the first Easter Egg Air Force 1 probably. I got those and said, “You know what, these are special.” After that, I started to follow all of the patent Forces that Nike was doing, and I wanted all of them. I remember wanting the China and Puerto Ricos, and anything that came out that was nice, I’d get it. Then I went through a phase where I was going after Jordans and trying to figure out which Jordans I needed. I went and just got all of them. [laughs]
ZD: If the Easter Eggs are what got you into sneakers then, do you have a favorite model or series now?
EC: I’m feeling LeBrons right now. And not just cause of my situation. [laughs] I really feel like he has the sickest shoe out right now. I even went online and iD’d me a pair of Foamposite 9 iDs. I made some crazy Foamposites! I told him, “Man, when you see my shoe, you’ll use it as inspiration on your next shoe.” [laughs]
ZD: That’s real cool. Is there a particular kind of shoe you like to wear on-court?
EC: I would’ve wore the KD 4s otherwise tonight. I think that’s probably the second best shoe out right now.
ZD: And what about casually just to wear around?
EC: Probably nine times out of ten I’m wearing some kind of Jordan. I’ve been begging Bron every day for those Watch The Thrones too right now. [laughs] If I can get those, I’ll just wear those all the time. I really like to wear stuff that makes people say, “Man, you really pulled those out!”
ZD: Is there anything that hasn’t come back out that you’re wishing would?
EC: Not really. I’m pretty satisfied with where we’re at right now, and I think the sneaker game is getting stronger and stronger. They’re bringing a lot of Jordans out right now, and there’s five or six good models alone coming out this year. I’m real excited for that.
ZD: How’s Miami been to find new sneakers at?
EC: I still really just get stuff from all my old connects. Actually though, the guy who cuts my hair in Miami is a crazy sneakerhead too, and he just got me both of the Oregon Jordan IIIs. The black ones and the white ones. That’s been my guy down there. LeBron also just opened his own shoe store, or I’ll just beg for his stuff at his house. [laughs]
ZD: Of all of the cities you’ve been in and played in, what do you think is the best sneaker city?
EC: New York has so much. They just have so much heat. There’s always great events in the city and everyone will travel there for them.
ZD: I always think it’s crazy how any time of the day you can be walking literally anywhere in New York, and you’ll see someone in nice shoes.
EC: Always. You’ll always see someone and say, “Oh, now those are nice.” You still see nice SBs or people in something cool.
ZD: Is there anything that you’d like to have that isn’t made in your size?
EC: Oh yeah. There’s been a bunch of Air Force 1s that they never made past 13 that I’d love to have.
ZD: What else are you on the hunt for and looking for?
EC: Man, there isn’t anything really. Anything I want, I go and get it. I don’t play around. [laughs] I wish the McFlys came in my size though. Man! I really thought about just getting a 13 and seeing if I could fit my foot in there.