TBT: Nike Zoom 2k3

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Nike’s catalog of shoes yet to be retro’ed is both short and mysterious. There are sooo many shoes sitting in their archives that have long been lost to time and forgotten. Some models have devout fans clamoring for a fresh retro – one of those shoes being the Zoom 2k3. NBA fans of the early 2000s certainly remember the 2k3’s design, even if they’ve forgotten the name. Every year Nike releases a ‘flagship’ performance basketball shoe and the 2k3 pioneered what modern basketball releases would look like. Nike had these on the feet of every hooper without a signature shoe resulting in some of the best PEs and GRs (in terms of execution) in modern Nike history.

LeBron’s SVSM PEs from his high school days.

The Zoom 2k3 laid the ground work for a Nike Basketball renascence of design. I’d argue that the Air HyperFlight in 2001 was the last great Nike Basketball design before the 2k3 so there was a two year period where their performance footwear felt a bit stale. Not to say there wasn’t some quality footwear by Nike (especially Nike Battle Grounds, which the 2k3 is technically a part of (they also have the Flight branding on the sockliner and heel so it’s anyone’s guess) but the Zoom 2k3 really brought something special. From a design standpoint they’re extremely unique with a blend of old and new. The shoe features a material spit throughout the upper with the toe box/ front of the shoe being leather and the heel/ mid-foot being perforated synthetic. The shoes are very high cut for a “mid-cut” sneaker with a molded ankle counter.

Kobe Bryant PE
Tony Parker PEs, all PE pairs featured heel detailing (TP, 9 for example).

Too commonly we want to remember the 2k4 before the 2k3 (and subsequently the 2k5) because, well… the 2k4 was that good. Stars across the league rocked the 2k3 all season long like Jason Kidd and Tony Parker. Lets take a trip down #TBT memory lane and remember some of our favorite stars’ rocking the Nike Zoom 2k3!

Young Tony Parker in a white/black/silver PE.
LeBron in the Summer League wearing a 2k3 PE before the Air Zoom Generation released.
Kobe in a Lakers Home PE and LeBron in the AZG.
Jason Kidd driving in the paint wearing one of his many 2k3 PEs.
PE on PE crime.
Even a young Chris Bosh got in on the action!