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Winderman: Wade’s move to Li-Ning good for marketplace

Oct 9, 2012, 9:08 PM EDT

Dwyade Wade AP

Left unclear by Dwyane Wade‘s move from Jordan Brand to Chinese brand Li-Ning is whether he had opted for innovation or simply was not offered what he believed to be a commensurate deal.

But that’s not the point.

The point is this:

When the Miami Heat, still arguably the NBA’s most high-profile team, take the court to start games, they will take the court with a lineup that not only features Nike-wearing LeBron James and Chris Bosh, but with Wade in Li-Ning, Shane Battier in Chinese make Peak and Mario Chalmers in Spalding.

That’s four brands among five starters, including three that aren’t Nike, Reebok or adidas.

And if you’re a parent, that is a good thing, a very good thing, because when the highest-profile players are wearing something other than the highest-profile (and often highest-priced) brands, it presents economic alternatives. And in this economy, having more “it” brands offers more hope when it comes to leaving the shoe store with something in your wallet.

No, we’re not talking Starbury cheap or even those low-budget models that Shaq was pitching at one point. But not being limited to one, two or three brands at least offers options.

With Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul, Jordan Brand should do just fine without Wade. And the last time we checked, Nike is still moving those almost-$300 LeBron models with the computer chips in them.

But for every player wearing Li-Ning, Peak, Spalding or something other than one of the big-three brands, it at least offers hope to every parent who has tried to suggest, “Hey, how about these?”

Because at least now, somebody you’ve actually heard of actually is wearing them.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. You can follow him on Twitter at @IraHeatBeat.

  1. ezwriter69 - Oct 9, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    Pimping for China, that’s ballsy. I guess Romney’s popularity proves that America loves outsourcing and giving our money to foreign governments and companies, but I’m old enough that I can’t imagine lining China’s communist despots’ pockets in order to put a little more in mine. If he can look himself in the mirror, c’est la vie I guess, and the zero responses to this post are evidence that no one much cares…

    • cosanostra71 - Oct 9, 2012 at 9:57 PM


      • j0esixpack - Oct 10, 2012 at 12:00 AM

        That’s exactly the type of reaction they’re counting on.

        A sneaker buying American youth who wouldn’t have a clue what eswriter69 was talking about.

      • cosanostra71 - Oct 10, 2012 at 1:34 AM

        no, I’m just struggling to see what Dwyane Wade’s shoes have to do with Mitt Romney.

    • digitalpoo - Oct 9, 2012 at 11:51 PM

      Do you mind telling me how many Air Jordan factories there are in the United States?

      • moseskkim - Oct 10, 2012 at 2:34 AM

        Would be awesome if Li-Ning signed Jeremy Lin. Then change the name to Linning. To be honest, Li-Ning is not a good global name. It’s toooo Asian (I’m Asian myself). Peak is a good potential global name. Dwade should bring some relevance to USA.

  2. misterdreamer119 - Oct 9, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    All the shoes are made in china.

    • j0esixpack - Oct 9, 2012 at 11:45 PM

      Actually Nikes are manufactured in about 700 countries including Mexico and most Far Eastern nations. It’s a US based company and is considered one of the top 3 “green” corporations

      I’m guessing these Li-Nings are ALL made in China and all profits stay in China. I’m no far right demagogue but if you weren’t aware that China quietly declared economic warfare on the US years ago, pick up a paper.

      If Wade wants to pimp for the People’s Republic, that’s his right as an American. He’s just lucky he doesn’t live in China… for now anyways.

      I’m just glad Ted Williams passed on any offers to become the German’s US Volkswagen spokesman. I’m sure that would have been a nice little boost to Hitler’s war effort at the time.

      • j0esixpack - Oct 9, 2012 at 11:53 PM

        700 sites I mean…. In 45 countries. You get the point though. Nike deserves its fair share of criticism, especially as a US based company, but anything it’s done pales in comparison to the People’s Republic

    • manchestermiracle - Oct 9, 2012 at 11:51 PM

      New Balance are made in the U.S., but they aren’t pimped by an over-paid, egotistical athlete so kids don’t want them. The real issue here is why parents don’t have more control over their children. Buy them the shoes that are appropriate and you can afford. If they don’t like them, tell them they can go barefoot. A lot of problems in regards to kids’ behavior could be solved if parents would just grow a pair (balls, not shoes).

      • skinsfanwill - Oct 10, 2012 at 3:15 PM

        You are wrong. 70% of all New Balance are made in China. It’s on their wiki site for crying out loud.

      • manchestermiracle - Oct 12, 2012 at 1:14 PM

        Just like most car makers, there are factories all over the world. The New Balance shoes I was referring to are indeed made in the U.S. You do have a choice when buying shoes to specify U.S.-made. Same in cars. It might be a Honda, but it was built here by American labor. There are no Nike factories in the U.S. None. New Balance is the only athletic shoe maker left still manufacturing in the U.S.

  3. imforbigblue - Oct 9, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    Sold his soul to the highest bidder. It’s OK good luck getting kids to wear those ugly ass China shoes over a pair I’d Jordan’s lol

  4. goldmember21 - Oct 9, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    Maybe Wade has plans on playing in china next season?

  5. mnsportsfan - Oct 9, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    Just have to put in two quotes and show the problems that I have with this story-

    “… Shane Battier in Chinese make Peak… ”

    “… And if you’re a parent, that is a good thing, a very good thing, because when the highest-profile players are wearing something other than the highest-profile… ”

    I mean I like Shane Battier as much as the next guy but lets get real here.

  6. stayhigh_247 - Oct 10, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    I dont care who he signed with, I’m not rockin em. They look hella wack and they aren’t any cheaper? A buck 75 for some Li-Nings, good luck with that one.

  7. deiong - Oct 10, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    cant see anyone wanting to buy walmart specials. its failed with many others already… hope he got paid good for that… im sure china will sell well there.. so mabe thats the incentive…

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