Ever since Hakeem Olajuwon first started selling jeans and polo shirts by Knope-leaning on Beetles, we've wondered when the Hall of Fame center would complete his sartorial offering by turning his attention to that most critical piece of basketball-related apparel: the sneaker. Now, 2 1/2 years later, here we are.
On Saturday, the Houston Rockets legend (and, for one season, Toronto Raptors contributor) will host an event at the DR34M Mansion — a sprawling Clear Lake City, Texas, estate that Olajuwon bought, renamed (because he's "The Dream" and he wore 34, get it?) and turned into a fashion boutique where you can make an appointment with the DR34M brand's "master tailor" to get fully suited and booted — to release the first edition of his "Dream Shake" sneaker line, which we've shown above.
Unlike the Etonic, L.A. Gear and Spalding kicks he wore and endorsed during his 18-year NBA career, Olajuwon says he's been intimately involved in the development of the Dream Shake — "I went to different sources, looking at the manufacturing, selecting the material," he told Houston's FOX 26 — throughout the two-year process of bringing it to market. In what's probably a related story, unlike the signature shoes he promoted during his playing days — especially the Spaldings, which retailed for $35 at Payless ShoeSource stores as a stark pre-Starbury response to the rising prices of signature shoes endorsed by the likes of Michael Jordan and Shaquille O'Neal — the Dream Shake will sell for $185, a price point much more in keeping with the other luxury-line items for sale at DR34M's online store, including a variety of leather bags and exfoliating agents. The NBA's onward march toward fashion's final frontier, it seems, includes the Dream.
Olajuwon's trumpeting the sneaker as equal parts performance shoe and sensible accessory, noting the unique soles made by Vibram, whose pioneering technology has aided both climbers and people who want to look sort of like apes while running comfortably, and the fact that "when you put it with your jeans, you're fashionable." And hey, if you're in the market for a new pair of jeans, the Dream can hook you up for the low price of just half of one Large Dead Sea Spa Gift Set. Total win-win.
I'd say I'm not sure we'll be seeing the Dream Shake on NBA courts any time soon, but two things give me pause. For one thing, Hakeem has helped develop the post games of basically everybody who currently draws an NBA paycheck, and may now have a full-time in with the entire Rockets roster. This might entitle him to call in a favor or two to help get his brand off the ground, especially locally.
Mostly, though, there's that rumor that Gilbert Arenas might get a training camp look from the Los Angeles Clippers — if he catches on, it would not be at all surprising to see a man who once wore Dolce & Gabbana sneakers during a game take the Dream Shake for a spin. And if he did so, there is no doubt in my mind that he would try to pull off a Dream Shake no fewer than once for every minute of floor time he received until Doc Rivers yanked him off the court.
Here's more from FOX 26's sitdown with Olajuwon to chat about the new kicks:
So what's the verdict, sneakerheads? Will you be checking for the Dream Shake once they're officially available for order? Let us know in the comments below.