PJ Tucker discusses his personal shoe auction on eBay
Miami Heat veteran PJ Tucker is not only an NBA champion, but also one of the most prominent and beloved sneakerheads in the basketball world.
Tucker, who currently sets a career-high 45.8% on 3 points while also equaling his personal best in assists per game, has more shoes than a person could ever know what to do with.
So, thanks to his partnership with eBay, the NBA sneaker champion will be auctioning his personal pairs of extremely rare and hard to find Grail sneakers.
Tucker sat down with For The Win to discuss how he came up with the idea, which shoe he considers the most impressive in the collection, his assessment of the state of the sneaker world, what he learned by winning the NBA title etc. much more.
The sneaker sale starts at 6 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on December 20 at eBay.com/PJTucker and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Soles 4 Souls.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
Tucker: It was an idea my team came up with because when we left my house in Houston we had so many pairs of shoes right there and in stock and sitting around. I was thinking of ways to use them, man. These are things that I actually wore in games and once we started going through them we saw all kinds of stuff. There were so many that I had worn them once but never again. I had several pairs of things. So I thought it would be cool to have some of my real pairs of shoes available.
Tucker: That is to say definitively the hardest part of my life. [Laughs] I can change teams at any time if I have to and everything will be fine. But move my things ?! Oh my God. It is a real process. This year has been the most difficult as I had to go from Houston to Milwaukee to Miami. I just had so many things that went wrong with me on the trips from Houston to Milwaukee and then from Milwaukee to Houston. There were so many things! It’s not easy to carry the things I wear during games. My assistant had to fly to Houston and ship boxes to Miami that I knew I wanted to wear during games and also just off the field. It’s a process, man.
Tucker: The beauty is, it’s everywhere. Different people will say different things. These are super rare pairs. But that might not be the style of some people. They may not like these shoes. There are old, worn out stuff that people might remember. It will intrigue them for sure. But for me, I know there is a Diana Taurasi PE LeBron and most people have probably never seen them before. If they did, they probably haven’t seen them in size 14. So having the opportunity to get something like this is once in a lifetime because there aren’t many of these pairs out there. -low.
Everyone’s still talking about the sneakers PJ Tucker already has – but I wanted him to reveal the 5 pairs he’s still trying to hunt down.
“I don’t know anyone who buys more shoes on @eBay than me, âhe jokes. https://t.co/XtcqRPXAQY
– Nick DePaula (@NickDePaula) July 15, 2020
Tucker: My eBay account username says PJ Tucker. I interact with people as “PJ Tucker” literally wrong. This is not always a good thing. [Laughs] They try to sell me high and get the most out of me. But it’s pretty cool anyway. People who don’t know may end up wondering, is this Actually PJ Tucker or is that a false name? I’m like, no, it’s me. They sometimes send cards to be signed with the package I bought from them. I have all kinds of crazy interactions. It’s always pretty fun.
For many children, shoes are at the bottom of their holiday wish lists. But for the children we serve, they make all the difference.
New shoes are synonymous with opportunity.
This means they have the freedom to just be a child – in the classroom and on the playground. https://t.co/tANf6RBPir pic.twitter.com/rbD1MLtU5W
– Soles4Souls (@ Soles4Souls) December 15, 2021
Tucker: We went with Souls4Soles. I probably donate twice as much as I actually wear throughout the year. I donate shoes to different AAU teams and different organizations. We literally send shoes all the time, everywhere. In order to be able to give back to Souls4Soles, if you are me, you have to be able to take care of people. It’s not about charities. I donate shoes to people who need them. It’s kinda pointless having thousands of pairs of shoes if you don’t give them to those who need them. That’s all.
Tucker: For sure! [Laughs] It’s funny. But it just shows how big and powerful the shoes are and how fast the shoes have taken off. The sneaker culture is incredibly exciting. People die for every drop and everything that comes out makes you anticipate. So much is in the media and it’s madness. I’m definitely a hundred times better known for my sneakers, but it shows more how great sneakers are compared to me as a basketball player.
Tucker: It’s really weird that you are asking that because I was literally having this conversation right before that. It’s so hard to predict! I saw somewhere that tried to predict the annual growth of the sneaker market and it was astronomical numbers. It’s so hard to put a limit because with social media and how crazy the internet is, sneakers are going viral so fast. When a new designer does something, it gets so much attention. More and more people are accessing and getting all of these things and being able to see what’s coming up, it’s so hard. I have no idea.
– SoleCollector.com (@SoleCollector) May 1, 2017
Tucker: It’s a good question. It might sound silly, but I never get the full branding. I rely on my team. I ask my boys to tell me what’s going on. After posting stuff, I never really see what happens next. I never see it unless my best friend Mark sends it to me. If he doesn’t send it to me, I’ll hardly ever know. Other than that, I hardly ever see the end of the game for my actions.
[Tucker asked his media lead Josh Abba, who was also on the call, what he thought. Abba suggested the Red October Yeezyâs or the Nike Fear of God sneakers.]
Tucker (continued): Yeah, the Red October moment went crazy because people were begging for it and no one had worn them. There are a lot of things that people consider a Grail that they would never wear. So wearing these in games usually leads to the greatest moments.
Tucker: It’s just knowledge. It’s been sixteen years playing at all levels of this league. I have been part of bad and good teams. But now I know what it takes to win a championship and that’s the most important thing I’ll take away from it. Going to a team like the Heat, we actually have a few guys who have done it before. We have experience and knowledge that we can all share with the young guys we need to help us stay alive while guys like Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo are down. I want to pass this experience on to them so they can hold us back until these guys come back.