Earlier this week LeBron was on the court doing his best Michael Jackson impression (with the rest of the Cavs looking like a bunch of Titos) dropping 46 points in Game 2 against the Pacers. The performance was vintage Bron but with a twist – he did most of his damage in the 1st quarter, dropping 16 points before Indiana made their first field goal. In the past, LeBron has registered some of his most prolific scoring outputs with back-ended scoring aka lighting it up in the second half. A particular game comes to mind, James’s dismantling of the Detroit Pistons in Game 5 of the 2007 Eastern Conference Championship series. A young LeBron (in his 4th season) put the Cavs on his back and willed his team to victor by scoring 25 straight points to close out the game. Like a semi-truck out of control, James barreled to the basket over and over as various Pistons defended helplessly.

Tayshaun Prince, Antonio McDyess, Rasheed Wallace… no one could stop James. He’d find the open man every time defenders would cut him off; every defensive action met with a better offensive reaction. It’s important to remember that the Pistons were tested champions, this series victory truly marked LeBron’s arrival as a perennial force in the Playoffs (not just a regular season stud (I’m firmly in the camp that LeBron’s always been great so don’t get it twisted)). In that 2007 series against the Pistons he averaged 25.7 pts, 9.2 rebounds, 8.5 assists and 2.7 steals.

The 2007 Playoffs were also the first year Nike outfitted LeBron with a second annual shoe; a pair (or line) designed for the postseason, the LeBron Soldier (1). Far from a take down model (the Ambassador and Witness lines would fulfill that duty) the Soliders were created with functionality and durability in mind. James’s title runs are like a solider going to war, so it’s only right he’s laced like one. Nike also included the Zoom Solider 1 in their upcoming Art Of A Champion collection that we’ve been talking about all week at Sneaker History. Checkout some pictures of LeBron in the OG Soliders, a video of the game itself and some detailed pictures of the retro… enjoy!

‘Tonio couldn’t handle the sauce.

Pistons players looking at LeBron like “I thought you had him.”

Game 5 Highlights

LeBron Soldier Retro, 25 Straight

Sturdy leather makes up most of the shoe, primarily the toe box and mud guard. Short suede graces the ankle and tongue. Straps have always been an integral part of Solider designs, the 1 laid the ground work for future iterations to build upon that design cue. 

*Not pictured* Along with subtle (and not subtle) James markings, the outsoles feature the words ‘vision’, ‘passion’, ‘win’, ‘family’ and ‘fearless’.

LeBron’s lion logo made its debut on the Zoom LeBron III but and returns on the Solider 1.

Nike chose not to deviate from the OG, only adding details playing into the Art Of A Champion pack. The sock liner originally displaying James’s L23 logo & signature has been replaced with ‘The Association’ and 16 tally marks along with ’16’ inside the tongue.

all retro images via SoleCollector

Look for the 25 Straight’s to release May 31st.