D’Angelo Russell signs with Li-Ning

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Joe Broback

Contributor at Champion Insiders
Joe is a writer covering the NFL, NBA, NHL and college football. He also currently writes for SB Nation’s Underdog Dynasty, covering the American Athletic Conference since 2016. Joe enjoys collecting shoes, playing sports, and anything fitness related.
Joe Broback
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Dwyane Wade’s retirement from basketball seemingly signaled the end of Li-Ning’s relevancy in the NBA. Wade wanted to keep it alive even in his retirement, and he brings on a budding young star to be the face of the brand going forward. D’Angelo Russell, after being a sneaker free agent, signed with the brand this week.

This didn’t come as a surprise for anyone who’s been paying attention the Russell’s footwear this season. He’s been spotted wearing multiple Way of Wade shoes so far, but this signing makes it official. With potential of a signature sneaker for the young star, Russell has a chance to grow his own personal brand as well.

D’Angelo Russell: the new Li-Ning star

Outside of C.J. McCollum, Li-Ning didn’t have many notable athletes signed. Adding Russell gives them an up and coming star who should receive plenty of attention on the Golden State Warriors this year. The Warriors are one of the worst teams in the NBA, but at least they still have someone worth watching.

Wade’s signature shoes were highly underrated in a league that features brands like Nike and Adidas with multiple signature athletes. Adding Russell doesn’t put them in that same atmosphere, but it’s a start. There have been hints that he would be in line to get his own signature sneaker, so that’s something else to anticipate in the future.

Sneaker news tends to be quiet once the season begins in terms of signings. We normally see new signature shoes released during the season and new colorways, but not new signings. Li-Ning takes the spotlight with this signing, and could make more news in the offseason as well. Wade’s signature line produced some great silhouettes and colorways, and it’s exciting to see what they’ll do for Russell this year.

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