Zach Lavine understands what his presence means on and off the court to the city of Chicago. When he runs the hardwood of the United Center, he is a relentless scorer and one of the leaders of the franchise. Off the court, that leadership pours into the community.
On a Monday night before the Bulls work to make a final push for the playoffs, Lavine is at the Foot Locker flagship store in Chicago, which has a full gym on top of the State Street location. He, and other influential local basketball minds, assists in guiding Chicago basketball players of the future through drills as they give his TWO WXY V3 New Balance sneaker a test run.
At the conclusion, Lavine speaks with The Source about his New Balance partnership and the work he gives the city of Chicago.
We are in year two of your New Balance partnership. What has happened in that time to confirm you made the right decision in choosing this brand?
Everything, man. New Balance is a big family, and it gives you a lot of creative power to let your voice be heard. I think the biggest thing for me is that family feel, they listen, and it makes you feel important.
You got high school kids out here. I know how this likely important for an All-Star to be here with them. But what does it feel like for you to have your sneaker collaboration merge with impacting the lives of future ball players?
It’s great. Obviously you want to get all the eyes you can on your individual sport and that comes with brand deals and New Balance has been nothing short of great. But having that tie-in, I’m always big on speaking to the youth and trying to push the game forward because that’s what was done for me. Any way they can take experiences from me or I can answer a question, I’m all for it.
I’m sure New Balance is a home for you aligned with your style. We catch you in the pre-game style of high-end joggers, sweats, and some of everything. What do you seek out in pieces, and what other styles do you dabble in?
It definitely depends on the occasion. If I’m pairing with New Balances, I’m going streetwear, like you said, joggers and sweats, an overcoat. We do live in Chicago, so you have to dress for the occasion. But fashion is a big part for me and New Balance is extremely cultural right now. You can dress them up, or down, they have everything.
Mentioning that cultural takeover. We see it heavy here with people like you, JoeFreshGoods, New Balance is becoming a Chicago family. Do you feel that resonating through the city when you are moving around or out?
It’s been great. Just walking and driving around, you see people with New Balance sneakers on. You see JoeFresh clothes everywhere. With us being here and with New Balance, you see that it’s a heavy presence in the city.
When you get to your PEs, what do you hope to put in a sneaker?
That goes back to the open conversation, allowing me to have my own logo, different sayings, and different colorways. I can do things that are for the city, things specifically for me. I can bring childhood memories and college experiences with me. I can bring personal pieces into the brand.
What’s in your sneaker rotation right now?
The 750s are great, 550s are good too. I normally wear 750s with baggier jeans. They have so many options. The 990s are nice. I love classic options. I think the 2002s are some of my favorites cause you can wear so many things with them.
When we get to the playoffs, are you bringing a new pair?
I’m definitely going to have some new sneakers for y’all.
A couple of quick things on the basketball end. We are in the stretch run, and this season has been slightly different. The Bulls started on top, where this one has to show resilience. What have you learned about yourself in comparison to other Bulls seasons?
Not every year is going to be the same and try to do the best you can with it. You can’t dwell in the past. The way we’re playing and letting some slip away, you have to make what you can of the moment now.
For fans, we see what’s on the court and how it appeared to be an energy shift with the arrival of Patrick Beverley, and you guys appear ot be having fun. What are some things that we don’t get to see that resonate in your spirit about this unit right now?
We have a fun amount of confidence. We give each other confidence. We have an amazing group of young guys; sometimes, we need their energy and youthfulness. On the other hand, we also have the experience of vets and the confidence they give you. We have a good balance.
Article written by Shawn Grant #TheSource