words & interview // Brandon Richard
Earlier, we talked a little bit about basketball and life with Chicago Bulls guard C.J. Watson, but what you may or may not know is that C.J. is also quite knowledgeable about sneakers. Outside of what he wears on the court, he’s also been known to keep tabs on shoes in his downtime. In our first interview with C.J. nearly a year ago, he cited the Air Max 95, FILA Grant Hill and Air Jordan II as a couple of his all-time favorite models.
In the second part of my interview with C.J. this week, I asked him a few questions sneakers, namely his love affair with the Nike Zoom Hyperfuse this season. He also let us know why he didn’t stick with the Air Max Fly By for long, recalled his test run of the Air Max 360 BB Low and gave us his thoughts on sneakers continuing to get lighter and lower.
Also remember that C.J. and the Quiet Storm Foundation are giving away tickets to Game 2 of the NBA Conference Semi-Finals against the Atlanta Hawks! Entering is easy; simply head over to the contest page, make a $10 or more donation to his foundation and wait to see if your name is the lucky one picked. The winner may also receive a chance to meet C.J. in person after the game.
Brandon Richard: For the majority of the season, the Hyperfuse was your playing shoe of choice. However, recently we’ve seen you introduce the new Air Max BB 360 Low into your rotation. Is there any particular reason you’re giving the BB 360 burn after using the Hyperfuse all season long?
C.J. Watson: I just liked how they looked and felt, and after wearing them a few times, I went right back to the Hyperfuse.
BR: Can you tell us some things you like about the Hyperfuse?
CJ: I like how light the Hyperfuse is. They are just what I need: light, sleek, with a cool look and design to them.
BR: You also spent some time playing in the Air Max Fly By with the high ankle strap. However, by the end of the year, you were back in the regular Hyperfuse. Did you find yourself preferring the feel of the Hyperfuse over the Fly By?
CJ: Yeah, I liked the feel of the Hyperfuse better. I wear two pairs of socks, and the Air Max Fly Bys were giving me a bunion, so I went back to the Hyperfuse. The Air Max Fly Bys were kind of tight and narrow, and I didn’t really like that.
BR: Two of the biggest trends we’re seeing with basketball sneakers is making them as lightweight and low-cut as possible. You’ve tested both throughout the season. Do you have any opinions on sneakers continuing to get lower and lighter?
CJ: I don’t know how much lower and lighter they can go, but if they do, we will be playing in socks after a while. But I think it’s always good to come out with something different and new that people haven’t seen.
BR: Were there any other shoes you picked up throughout the year that didn’t make it to the court?
CJ: I like a lot of different running shoes, so I picked up a few [pairs] of the new Air Max ’95 and a few Jordans. I think Jordans should only be worn off the court. He’s too great of a player to wear his shoes on the court. No one will ever be as good as him.
BR: You’ve talked about being a sneakerhead in the past. Is that something you still have time to keep up with these days? Moreso during the off-season?
CJ: Not as much anymore. I still have a lot of different kicks and try to get the hottest sneakers out, but I’m not as addicted as I was when I was younger.