“I saw the product and liked what I saw and why not be one of the first of the basketball players to start this brand,” he tells SI.com upon signing with Brandblack.
The Los Angeles-based footwear brand started by David Raysse nabbed Smith as their second NBA player just weeks after signing the NFL’s DeSean Jackson. The other Brandblack player? Smith’s former Hawks teammate and current Clippersplaying partner Jamal Crawford.
“Having a familiar face that you know from the Atlanta Hawks and being able to have that personal connection with him,” Smith says, “being able to ask him about the brand, was big.”
As Crawford plays in his third signature shoe with Brandblack—the J.Crossover 3—Smith has started wearing the Nappa leather and mesh Force Vector high top. “It is the shoe they recommend I wear, and I just went with it,” Smith said. “The selection I have is when we sit down and I tell them about color coordination.”Smith says that while he doesn’t demand all sorts of on-court colorway options, he does like having a hand in the artistic planning. “It is good that they are open-minded to figure out what kind of selection I want as far as the color schemes,” he said.