Recent reports indicate that Jordan Brand has made the decision to end Carmelo Anthony’s signature line with last year’s Melo M13. But what does this mean for the two sides going forward?
As Carmelo Anthony is set to begin the next chapter of his on-the-court career, it seems he will also have to do so in his partnership with Jordan Brand.
Per ESPN‘s Nick DePaula, the NBA’s fifth-longest running signature line ever has come to a close with last year’s Melo M13. This places Anthony in a class with Penny Hardaway, Charles Barkley, Gary Payton and Scottie Pippen -to name a few- as athletes whose signature lines came to an end mid-career.
According to DePaula, Jordan Brand is still looking to work very closely with Anthony going forward, further evolving their partnership. Which is about as much as one would expect considering Melo recently signed an extension to stay with the brand.
It should be noted that Anthony has denied the report.
Per Norman Transcript‘s Fred Katz:
“It’s false. False. Let’s not even discuss that … I just signed an extension with them. I don’t read into false news.”
Jordan Brand has made an official statement on the matter, as well.
Per Bleacher Report:
“Melo is a long-time and respected member of the Jordan family. As is the case with all Jordan family athletes, we work together with Melo on a footwear plan each year, and no decisions have been finalized about future models. Any decision made will be a collaborative one between Melo and Jordan Brand.”
It’s no surprise that both parties involved are trying to get ahead of this while they can, especially if a decision has truly yet to be made on the matter. However, a confirmation from Weartesters.com has given more weight to DePaula’s report: Carmelo Anthony’s signature line has come to an end.
Jordan Brand Needed a Shake-up
As disappointing and bittersweet an end to Melo’s signature line may be, it definitely appears to be the best possible decision for the brand.
Jordan Brand recently extended its partnership with Anthony’s teammate, and reigning NBA MVP, Russell Westbrook on a 10-year extension. It’s been reported that Westbrook’s extension will be the largest deal in the brand’s history, and guarantees the Oklahoma City point guard an on-court signature line.
It may very well be that Jordan Brand is looking to make room for Russell Westbrook’s line by shelving Carmelo Anthony’s. It’s unfortunate, but it happens in this industry.
Jordan Brand has only ever given three athletes their own signature lines: Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade. Wade’s ended when he signed with Li-Ning in 2012, and as previously mentioned Melo’s ended with the Melo M13.
That may not directly say much, but it definitely shows that they aren’t taking the same paths as Nike and adidas, which generally entails having at least three signature lines at once.
With their significantly large investment in Russell Westbrook, Jordan Brand is hoping to regain its footing as one of the most influential sneaker brands, both on and off-the-court. After recently losing its place as the second-most dominant sneaker brand in the U.S. market to adidas, it’s become clear that a change has to be made.
Where does their partnership go from here
It’s currently unknown which Jordan Brand model Anthony will be wearing in-game this season, though it’s very likely he switches it up with a mix of the Melo M13 as well as a few PEs of the Jordan XXXII.
Now, as far as the future of his Jordan Brand sneakers going forward, it may not be ending in the traditional sense.
While Melo’s signature line will come to a halt with his thirteenth signature model, the possibility of his older models being remixed with modern tech specs is very much in-play.
If what Jordan has been doing with their original line of late is any indication of the brand’s current direction with the Melo line, then we may be in for some fantastic updates of Anthony’s best signature shoes.
At the very least, we’re likely to be in store for a few retros.
Furthermore, given that the two sides agreed to an extension earlier this year it’s very likely that Anthony is still a big part of Jordan Brand’s direction going forward.
Russell Westbrook’s eccentric off-the-court style may very well be what Jordan Brand will try to push going forward. It could be a way for the brand to be known for more than just basketball sneakers.
That’s something Carmelo Anthony can absolutely help with.
While his style is not quite as loud as Westbrook’s, Melo is quite the fashion forward athlete. And if your were to pair the two with brand-mate Chris Paul, Jordan Brand could have quite the lifestyle collection on their hands.