After premiering the Disney+ film “Rise” last week, Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo debuted his newest Nike signature shoe, the Zoom Freak 4.
Unveiled in a launch colorway showcasing a layered upper blending salmon and neon hues alongside charcoal and gray, the shoe is highlighted by its sizable reverse Nike Swoosh that extends up from the veering midsole.
Stylized within the company’s unmistakable 50-year-old logo reads a motivational quote: “The One Who Believed Would Become The Unbelievable.”
After signing a long-term extension with Nike, Antetokounmpo defined the approach and foundation that each model of his signature series would represent during early brainstorm sessions with designers in the fall of 2017.
“I wanted a good-looking shoe that could tell a story that a kid could relate to,” he outlined to Andscape’s Aaron Dodson.
The series’ branding has been an exploration from model to model, by design, taking inspiration from Antetokounmpo’s “Greek Freak” nickname and his unique style of play.
The Freak 1 featured a sizable reverse Swoosh nestled into the heel and extending through the midsole. The second sneaker featured an oversized Swoosh that seemingly took up the most real estate possible on the side of the shoe. The Freak 3, which incorporated a support strap for the first time, had a more subtle outlined Swoosh along the collar.
Also boasting a dual-unit Zoom Air cushioning setup in the forefoot and Nike React foam along the heel, the Freak 4 adds more technology than in year’s past.
When Nike initially launched the Zoom Freak series in 2019, with an elaborate press event in Greece, the Bucks’ franchise player was fresh off winning his first NBA Most Valuable Player Award. He was also the first European player to receive a signature basketball shoe with Nike.
Throughout the creation of his signature series, Giannis has often injected storytelling about his humble beginnings in Greece, his family’s Nigerian background and the goal he and his brothers shared to one day each make it to the NBA.
“I wanted my shoe to basically introduce me and my family to the world,” he said.
Each of his shoes feature the names of his three brothers — Thanasis, Kostas and Alex — along with a callout to his parents, often stylized as “Charles + Veronica” on the bottom. While Giannis won’t lace up his newest shoes on the court until October, the Zoom Freak 4 is expected to release soon, this summer.